KILL(1) User Commands KILL(1)
kill - terminate a process
kill [-s signal|-p] [-q sigval] [-a] [--] pid...
kill -l [signal]
The command kill sends the specified signal to the specified process or process group. If
no signal is specified, the TERM signal is sent. The TERM signal will kill processes
which do not catch this signal. For other processes, it may be necessary to use the KILL
(9) signal, since this signal cannot be caught.
Most modern shells have a builtin kill function, with a usage rather similar to that of
the command described here. The '-a' and '-p' options, and the possibility to specify
processes by command name are a local extension.
If sig is 0, then no signal is sent, but error checking is still performed.
pid... Specify the list of processes that kill should signal. Each pid can be one of five
n where n is larger than 0. The process with pid n will be signaled.
0 All processes in the current process group are signaled.
-1 All processes with pid larger than 1 will be signaled.
-n where n is larger than 1. All processes in process group n are signaled.
When an argument of the form '-n' is given, and it is meant to denote a
process group, either the signal must be specified first, or the argument
must be preceded by a '--' option, otherwise it will be taken as the signal
All processes invoked using that name will be signaled.
-s, --signal signal
Specify the signal to send. The signal may be given as a signal name or number.
-l, --list [signal]
Print a list of signal names, or convert signal given as argument to a name. The
signals are found in /usr/include/linux/signal.h
Similar to -l, but will print signal names and their corresponding numbers.
Do not restrict the commandname-to-pid conversion to processes with the same uid as
the present process.
Specify that kill should only print the process id (pid) of the named processes,
and not send any signals.
-q, --queue sigval
Use sigqueue(2) rather than kill(2) and the sigval argument is used to specify an
integer to be sent with the signal. If the receiving process has installed a han-
dler for this signal using the SA_SIGINFO flag to sigaction(2), then it can obtain
this data via the si_value field of the siginfo_t structure.
It is not possible to send a signal to explicitly selected thread in a multithreaded
process by kill(2) syscall. If kill(2) is used to send a signal to a thread group, then
kernel selects arbitrary member of the thread group that has not blocked the signal. For
more details see clone(2) CLONE_THREAD description.
The command kill(1) as well as syscall kill(2) accepts TID (thread ID, see gettid(2)) as
argument. In this case the kill behavior is not changed and the signal is also delivered
to the thread group rather than to the specified thread.
bash(1), tcsh(1), kill(2), sigvec(2), signal(7)
Taken from BSD 4.4. The ability to translate process names to process ids was added by
Salvatore Valente <email@example.com>.
The kill command is part of the util-linux package and is available from Linux Kernel
util-linux March 2013 KILL(1)