Linux – What killed the process and why

killlinuxprocesssignals

My application runs as a background process on Linux. It is currently started at the command line in a Terminal window.

Recently a user was executing the application for a while and it died mysteriously. The text:

Killed

was on the terminal. This happened two times. I asked if someone at a different Terminal used the kill command to kill the process? No.

Under what conditions would Linux decide to kill my process? I believe the shell displayed "killed" because the process died after receiving the kill(9) signal. If Linux sent the kill signal should there be a message in a system log somewhere that explains why it was killed?

Best Solution

If the user or sysadmin did not kill the program the kernel may have. The kernel would only kill a process under exceptional circumstances such as extreme resource starvation (think mem+swap exhaustion).