[erlang-questions] supervisors, gen_server:terminate/2, and trap_exit

Fred Hebert mononcqc@REDACTED
Thu Mar 12 00:20:41 CET 2015

On 03/11, Youngkin, Rich wrote:
> "terminate/2 will also be called when its parent (the process that spawned
> it) dies, if and only if the gen_server is trapping exits."
> [...]
> The Erlang documentation on Supervisors states "Note that all child
> processes implemented using the standard OTP behavior modules automatically
> adhere to the shutdown protocol.". I'm having trouble reconciling these
> LYSE with the Erlang Supervisor docs.
> Thanks,
> Rich

The references I found to the shutdown protocol is:


"The supervisor process sends an exit signal to the child process and
waits for acknowledgment. The child process should handle the
{'EXIT',ParentPid,shutdown} message and terminate with reason shutdown
if it traps exit signals."

The last line here is important -- if it traps exit signals. This is in
agreement with what LYSE mentions. If you don't trap exit signals, you
can't get the signal, it just kills the process directly.


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