Not sure if this post should be here or the kernel forum. Let me know.

I'm developing a simple TCP server. 99% of incoming connections terminate correctly and the sockets disappear from netstat output. However, a few connections hang around for indefinitely in the FIN_WAIT2 state. Now, I know that the clients in this case are misbehaving by not sending a FIN,ACK to close the connection. However, regardless of client behaviour, the connections should only remain in this state for a maximum of 60 seconds (set globally by /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_fin_timeout)

Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address               Foreign Address             State       PID/Program name    Timer
tcp        0      0                 FIN_WAIT2   9507/perl           off (0.00/0/0)
tcp        0      0                 FIN_WAIT2   7247/perl           off (0.00/0/0)
tcp        0      0                 FIN_WAIT2   6835/perl           off (0.00/0/0)
You will notice that the timer output of netstat is showing that these connections are not being timed. To me that suggests that these connections will hang around forever, contrary to what tcp(7) says (repeated below)

tcp_fin_timeout (integer; default: 60)
              This  specifies  how many seconds to wait for a final FIN packet before the socket is forcibly closed.  This is strictly a violation of the TCP specifica-
              tion, but required to prevent denial-of-service attacks.  In Linux 2.2, the default value was 180.
I have watched the packets flowing back and forth, and the server is correctly performing a half close of the connection once it has finished sending data. The client is misbehaving by not sending its FIN,ACK, but so is the server by not closing the connection anyway. The end result is that I have hundreds of connections and processes hanging around forever.

I'm running RHEL 5.3 with 2.6.18-128.1.6.el5.PAE (i386) as my kernel.

Is there anything I can do to find out why these connections are not being forcibly closed by the kernel? Why are these connections NOT being timed?