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Because the existance of the file does not prove syslogd is currently running since it may have terminated and not cleaned up the pid file (e.g. it crashes for some strange reason or someone sends it a nontrapable signal like SIGKILL).

In reply to Re^2: How best to see if syslogd is running? by bluto
in thread How best to see if syslogd is running? by Plankton

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