Kill, kill, kill!

Ok, so I notice that my CPU load is pretty high while the computer wasn’t really supposed to be doing much. I check out what is wrong and notice that I have a Totem process eating more than 80% of the CPU.  Okay, I did watch a movie yesterday evening, so it is not that weird to have Totem running. Something must have gone wrong when I closed the program, but no worries, I’ll just terminate the process now.

I send it a gentle HUP signal to let it know that I want it to shut down.  That doesn’t work.

Okay, no more mister nice guy; I send it kill -9.  That still doesn’t work!?!!

WTF? kill -9 means EAT FLAMING DEATH, PROCESS! It tells the OS to kill the process immediately. No questions asked.  It doesn’t “inform” the process that it should terminate. There should be no way for a process to survive a kill -9, but my Totem process is running happily along.

I had to reboot the machine to kill the process.  That is just not right.

What is going on here?

Apparently I am not the only one with this problem, but I haven’t figured out what is causing this problem or how to avoid it :-(