Zombies, httpd, WordPress, Archives & exec-php

httpd is showing me a lot of zombies the last 2 or 3 days
when checking with ps -aux I see apache …….. “[host] <defunct>”
checking pstree -lp I see that httpd is creating them

httpd is |-httpd(9773)-+-host(10896)
       |              |             |-host(10966)
       |              |             |-host(11015)
       |              |             |-host(11117)
       |              |             |-host(11518)
       |              |             |-host(11591)
       |              |             |-host(11709)
       |              |             |-host(11873)


top shows me:
382 zombie processes at this time.

Of course I can restart the httpd process (which is does itself every night)

but I want to know; what are zombies, what are they doing and does it hurt?

if it’s not something okay how to get rid of it ?

It’s probably due to ‘WordPress Weblog’ software as I see the live – hits an checking the zombie counting with TOP
Some hours later: I found the issue. Zombies were created due to an incorrect configured plugin (smartarchives) together with the exec-php plugin. the directive to the archive folder was incorrect. The mod_rewrite did show a page.. but .. not the correct one I just discovered (duhhh*) ..

fixing path, restart httpd .. tadaaaaaaahhhh (still some zombies there but not that much).  Seems that more people have this issue. In certain situations, which are unclear, the zombies appear. with following crontab you can remove them:

*/10 * * * * ps auxw|grep apache| awk ‘$10 !~ /0:00/ {print $2}’|xargs kill -9 2> /dev/null

so to make long story short … I think I have to live with it, or someone must have an alternative solution