Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Tue Sep 4 19:47:57 UTC 2007

Matt, I have let the users test the xterminator program today without their knowledge :-)

So far I have not had a single stale process left, or a single complaint about login

The only thing I noticed is that login time increased significantly (if you consider
around 5 seconds considerable :-)  I used to click login and was immediately presented
the edubuntu splash then my desktop, now I have a blank screen for around 5 seconds then
see things as normal.  I assume there is no way around this and don't see it as a big
deal as long as all the other problems have been fixed.


On Mon, 3 Sep 2007 17:37:00 -0400, Matt Oquist wrote
> I've written a program named 'xterminator' to provide the
> functionality of purge_user in edubuntu. This is ready for *testing*
> now, so if you want to help me test it please add the following two
> lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list file:
> ------------------------------------------
> deb     http://ppa.launchpad.net/moquist/ubuntu feisty universe
> deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/moquist/ubuntu feisty universe
> ------------------------------------------
> This package will work fine on gutsy as well; just use these same two
> lines. The following commands will add those lines to the right file:
> $ sudo echo deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/moquist/ubuntu feisty universe >>
> $ sudo echo deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/moquist/ubuntu feisty universe >> 
> /etc/apt/sources.list
> Then:
> $ sudo apt-get update
> $ sudo apt-get install xterminator
> xterminator kills ALL of a user's [other] processes when she first
> starts an X session. After she terminates her X session, there is
> a short delay and all her remaining processes are killed, and then
> xterminator exits.
> All this killing of processes is logged in /var/log/syslog.
> I would like to add a config file that lets the administrator specify
> whether the killing should happen only at login, only after logout, or
> both. But that's not done yet.
> Note the following:
> * If you have this on your system, each user can only have one login
>   session at a time. If you have kids sharing usernames & passwords
>   then they'll be kicking each other out. (This is part of why the
>   syslogging is important; it provides more data about what may be
>   happening when your users complain that their computers crash...)
> * If your users depend on cron jobs, ssh sessions, or any other type
>   of persistent process that runs before, after, or outside
>   a graphical login session, then xterminator will kill those
>   processes, too. In fact, a good addition to the config file might be
>   a list of process names *NOT* to kill, ever.
> * If the effective UID of an xterminator process is 0 (i.e., if root
>   runs 'xterminator', it exits immediately. Oh...but the message it
>   prints should be to stderr, not stdout. One more thing to fix...
> * If you execute xterminator on the command line, it will work there,
>   too. i.e., it will kill all your processes except your shell and
>   its ancestors, and after you exit your shell it will clean up all
>   your other processes on the system.
> --matt
> --
> Open Source Software Engineering Consultant
> http://majen.net/
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Jim Kronebusch
Cotter Tech Department

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