PKILL(1) BSD General Commands Manual PKILL(1)
pgrep, pkill -- find or signal processes by name
pgrep [-LSafilnoqvx] [-F pidfile] [-G gid] [-M core] [-N system] [-P ppid] [-U uid] [-c class] [-d delim] [-g pgrp] [-j jid] [-s sid]
[-t tty] [-u euid] pattern ...
pkill [-signal] [-ILafilnovx] [-F pidfile] [-G gid] [-M core] [-N system] [-P ppid] [-U uid] [-c class] [-g pgrp] [-j jid] [-s sid] [-t tty]
[-u euid] pattern ...
The pgrep command searches the process table on the running system and prints the process IDs of all processes that match the criteria given
on the command line.
The pkill command searches the process table on the running system and signals all processes that match the criteria given on the command
The following options are available:
-F pidfile Restrict matches to a process whose PID is stored in the pidfile file.
-G gid Restrict matches to processes with a real group ID in the comma-separated list gid.
-I Request confirmation before attempting to signal each process.
-L The pidfile file given for the -F option must be locked with the flock(2) syscall or created with pidfile(3).
-M core Extract values associated with the name list from the specified core instead of the currently running system.
-N system Extract the name list from the specified system instead of the default, which is the kernel image the system has booted from.
-P ppid Restrict matches to processes with a parent process ID in the comma-separated list ppid.
-S Search also in system processes (kernel threads).
-U uid Restrict matches to processes with a real user ID in the comma-separated list uid.
-d delim Specify a delimiter to be printed between each process ID. The default is a newline. This option can only be used with the
-a Include process ancestors in the match list. By default, the current pgrep or pkill process and all of its ancestors are
excluded (unless -v is used).
-c class Restrict matches to processes running with specified login class class.
-f Match against full argument lists. The default is to match against process names.
-g pgrp Restrict matches to processes with a process group ID in the comma-separated list pgrp. The value zero is taken to mean the
process group ID of the running pgrep or pkill command.
-i Ignore case distinctions in both the process table and the supplied pattern.
-j jid Restrict matches to processes inside jails with a jail ID in the comma-separated list jid. The value ``any'' matches processes
in any jail. The value ``none'' matches processes not in jail.
-l Long output. For pgrep, print the process name in addition to the process ID for each matching process. If used in conjunction
with -f, print the process ID and the full argument list for each matching process. For pkill, display the kill command used for
each process killed.
-n Select only the newest (most recently started) of the matching processes.
-o Select only the oldest (least recently started) of the matching processes.
-q Do not write anything to standard output.
-s sid Restrict matches to processes with a session ID in the comma-separated list sid. The value zero is taken to mean the session ID
of the running pgrep or pkill command.
-t tty Restrict matches to processes associated with a terminal in the comma-separated list tty. Terminal names may be of the form
ttyxx or the shortened form xx. A single dash ('-') matches processes not associated with a terminal.
-u euid Restrict matches to processes with an effective user ID in the comma-separated list euid.
-v Reverse the sense of the matching; display processes that do not match the given criteria.
-x Require an exact match of the process name, or argument list if -f is given. The default is to match any substring.
-signal A non-negative decimal number or symbolic signal name specifying the signal to be sent instead of the default TERM. This option
is valid only when given as the first argument to pkill.
If any pattern operands are specified, they are used as regular expressions to match the command name or full argument list of each process.
If the -f option is not specified, then the pattern will attempt to match the command name. However, presently FreeBSD will only keep track
of the first 19 characters of the command name for each process. Attempts to match any characters after the first 19 of a command name will
Note that a running pgrep or pkill process will never consider itself nor system processes (kernel threads) as a potential match.
The pgrep and pkill utilities return one of the following values upon exit:
0 One or more processes were matched.
1 No processes were matched.
2 Invalid options were specified on the command line.
3 An internal error occurred.
Historically the option ``-j 0'' means any jail, although in other utilities such as ps(1) jail ID 0 has the opposite meaning, not in jail.
Therefore ``-j 0'' is deprecated, and its use is discouraged in favor of ``-j any''.
kill(1), killall(1), ps(1), flock(2), kill(2), sigaction(2), pidfile(3), re_format(7)
The pkill and pgrep utilities first appeared in NetBSD 1.6. They are modelled after utilities of the same name that appeared in Sun Solaris
7. They made their first appearance in FreeBSD 5.3.
Andrew Doran <ad@NetBSD.org>
August 9, 2013 BSD