Help with trap and signals

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Top Forums Shell Programming and Scripting Help with trap and signals
# 8  
Old 08-16-2013
Hello Alister,

Thanks for your reply. You are correct I am sourcing the script with

I don't understand why that matters though. I thought when you source a script you are running the script in the same shell, so I figure this should work compared to running the script in a new shell.

I now know something is not correct because I tried running the script without sourcing and the trap works fine, but I am confused as to why doesn't work with sourcing. Could you please explain what is going on here because I am confused.

ps -o pid,ppid,pgid,stat,args -t /dev/pts/**


PID         PPID       PGID       STAT    COMMAND
25592    25589     25592     Ss        -bash
25679    25592     25679     S+        sleep 155

Does the PPID just list processes with a parent ( child processes)? Also could you explain what a process group is?

btw: I am running these commands using ssh ( putty terminal), if that matters. I am not sure if I am running a Non-interactive shells or interactive shell. I will have to find out more about this because I am not really sure what this means.

Thanks again for your help!

---------- Post updated at 11:52 AM ---------- Previous update was at 11:47 AM ----------

I did some research and found the following link to be somewhat helpful.

Process group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by Scrutinizer; 08-16-2013 at 12:47 PM.. Reason: extra code tags
# 9  
Old 08-19-2013
Is there a way to source this script and have the trap that I set up work as intended. I am trying to export variables to script that has a while loop with a sleep command in it. I know I can just pass the variables in a file, but I would prefer to export them through sourcing; however, I would also like to have a modified trap in this sourced script. Is there anyway to do this? I am also still trying to figure out why doesn't the trap work when using sourcing, but works if the script is ran with non-sourcing.
# 10  
Old 08-19-2013
ksh93 can use $LINENO. This sort test script show it.

# Ctrl-C test
trap 'echo $PID - $PRG - line:$LINENO;exit 2' INT

while true
        echo "my pid is $PID"
        sleep 5
        echo "."
        sleep 5
        echo ".."
        sleep 5

# 11  
Old 08-19-2013
Originally Posted by Basherrr
Is there a way to source this script and have the trap that I set up work as intended.
Yes. Use a non-interactive shell to source the script. Or, if you must use an interactive shell, invoke set +m (but this is unusual and may be a sign that you're going about things in the wrong way).

Originally Posted by Basherrr
I am also still trying to figure out why doesn't the trap work when using sourcing, but works if the script is ran with non-sourcing.
The issue has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with sourcing versus not-sourcing. The issue is one of running an interactive shell with job control enabled versus a non-interactive shell without job control. You can source from either, you just happen to be sourcing from an interactive shell.

How does the system decide if a shell is interactive? An interactive shell is any shell that's invoked with the -i option, or that is not given any script to execute and has stdin and stderr pointing to a terminal (presumably, there's a human at the helm). Otherwise, the shell is considered non-interactive.

Interactive: bash
Non-interactive: bash

When a shell is interactive, each pipeline is considered an individual job. A human (presumably) interacting with the shell can suspend and resume these jobs, and put foreground jobs in the background and bring background jobs to the foreground. But how does the interactive shell implement such job control?

Imagine, for example, that you wanted to sort a file and then write the first 10 lines of the result to a file. You might run the following pipeline:
sort datafile | head > output

What if you then decide to terminate that job? You type Control-C (^C), which works by sending the foreground job the SIGINT signal. To properly terminate a job requires terminating each and every process that is part of that job. This is facilitated by putting all of those processes in the same process group and sending the signal to every member of that process group.

A process group id (pgid) is nothing but an integer in a process-related data structure, just like the process id (pid) and the parent's process id (ppid). A process group is a set of processes that share a common pgid value.

If there are many process groups on a system, how does the terminal know which process group to signal? The terminal itself is associated with a process group id, and this pgid is the terminal's foreground process group. In an interactive shell, when you run a command (or pipeline), it is run in its own process group and that process group becomes the terminal's foreground process group. You can change the foreground process group using job control (^Z, bg, fg).

In the ps output you posted, the + in the STAT column indicates that a process is a member of the foreground process group. Only these processes will receive keyboard-generated signals.

When using a non-interactive shell, each individual pipeline in a script is no longer considered a distinct job (unlike when they are entered at a command prompt). This makes sense since the commands would not have been grouped into a script if they were not part of a single task. Since the script itself is considered the only job, job control in non-interactive shells is seldom needed and is therefore disabled by default.

With job control disabled, the non-interactive shell does not create any process groups. Every command run by that shell inherits the shell's process group. This allows manipulating every process of every pipeline that the script runs by signaling a single process group. If this where not the case, if the non-interactive shell created a process group for each command/pipeline, using ^C to kill a script would be impossible because only the current command would receive the signal. As soon as that command exits, the next runs. The parent shell would be unaffected (sound familiar?).

Process groups also play a role in whether an individual process is allowed to interact with the terminal. Chaos would ensue if any process could unexpectedly take over and consume characters from a terminal. To prevent this, only processes in the foreground process group are allowed to read from the terminal (sometimes, the same is true of writing).

If you're still a bit lost, you're not alone. In my experience, most people do not have a solid grasp on how process groups, jobs, signals, and terminals are used to implement the interactive environment. The only way to get a handle on it is to research and experiment.

Your shell's man page covers its job control features. For a deeper dive, refer to POSIX - General Terminal Interface and glibc job control.


Last edited by alister; 08-19-2013 at 02:51 PM..
This User Gave Thanks to alister For This Post:
# 12  
Old 08-20-2013
Thanks, Alister!

That really clears some things up! Thanks for taking your time to write that response up. I found it very helpful and I am pretty sure other people will also find it helpful as well.
Login or Register to Ask a Question

Previous Thread | Next Thread

10 More Discussions You Might Find Interesting

1. Shell Programming and Scripting

Reg trap signals

let LIMIT=50 function check { if ]; then print LIMIT OK else print "LIMIT changed!" fi } trap check DEBUG print $LIMIT LIMIT=$((LIMIT + 30)) trap - DEBUG Can anyone tell me how debugging is accomplished?? (4 Replies)
Discussion started by: Karthick N
4 Replies

2. UNIX for Advanced & Expert Users

Help with Signals

Hi All, The problem statement is as below: Problem: A process (exe) is getting executed in background. The output of this process is getting logged in a file. After successfully running for some time the process gets terminated. In the log file following is present: ^M[7m Interrupt ^M[27m... (8 Replies)
Discussion started by: Praty.27
8 Replies

3. Homework & Coursework Questions

VM trap may work differently than a pure install trap.

Use and complete the template provided. The entire template must be completed. If you don't, your post may be deleted! 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data: That is the last reply I received from my instructor, and I'm looking for some alternatives. When using... (2 Replies)
Discussion started by: newuser45
2 Replies

4. Shell Programming and Scripting

how trap the signals in shell scripting

Hi all, I have the c program that c program has to be in sleep mode. I want write a script the it should trap the signal from the c program. The signals are sighup,sigkill,sigterm,sigchld and then it has to go to sleep. If signal is sigchld it has to do to some function. My question is how to... (3 Replies)
Discussion started by: bhas85
3 Replies

5. Programming

Using Signals

How can use signals in a C program If i want a child program to signal it's parent program that it(child) program has completed the task that it was assigned.:confused: (2 Replies)
Discussion started by: kapilv
2 Replies

6. UNIX for Dummies Questions & Answers


(posted this in the scripting forum as well, but figured it should go here) So, what's going on is this: For our program, we had to create our own shell, and if the user pressed ctrl-c just at the cmdline, then this signal would be ignored, but if there is a foreground process running, let's... (0 Replies)
Discussion started by: blind melon
0 Replies

7. Shell Programming and Scripting

Cntl+z Trap is not detecting ??? Help required to add a trap detection ???

Hi folks, I have tried to add some trap detection in the below script....this script is used to monitor database a rather awkward way :rolleyes:.... The idea behind adding trap is that....this script creates lots of temporary files in the running folder to store the count... (1 Reply)
Discussion started by: frozensmilz
1 Replies

8. Shell Programming and Scripting

Building a better mouse trap, or How many lines of code does it take to trap a mouse?

Hello all, I'm hoping to get a little insight from some of the wily veterans amongst you. I've written a script to check for new outgoing files to our vendors located on our ssl server. It seems to be working ok, but the final question here, will be one of logic, and/or a better way to... (4 Replies)
Discussion started by: mph
4 Replies

9. UNIX for Advanced & Expert Users

how to trap signals.

hi!!, i wanna trap all Signal 10, 11, 15 generated by any process running on my server irrespective of the user and wanna write to a log file. Any ideas? Do this script need to be a root process?? :cool: (1 Reply)
Discussion started by: jyotipg
1 Replies

10. Programming

Signals In HP-UX

does the way of handling, interrupting signals in HP-UX same as that of solaris. If there is difference than what it is.?:confused: (1 Reply)
Discussion started by: kapilv
1 Replies
Login or Register to Ask a Question