executing a script for a certain amount of time

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Top Forums Shell Programming and Scripting executing a script for a certain amount of time
# 8  
Old 09-25-2002
Search the forums. I believe that we discussed a similiar problem with a process hanging and being killed after some given time delay.
# 9  
Old 09-25-2002
I'm a little disappointed that the OP didn't bother to deny breaking our rules by posting a homework question.

But this turns out to be much harder than it first appears. I had a hard time doing this right and I must suspect that the OP's instructor underestimated the problem. So I am going to bend our rules a bit and offer a few hints on how to approach this.

If the subsidiary script is a script that never invokes another process, never forks and simply uses shell built-ins, this would be a very trivial problem. But if the subsidiary script invokes other processes, we really need to stop and restart all those processes in one fell swope. This implies working with process groups instead of processes. And ksh, the shell I used, has very limited support for process groups. In fact, I believe that I am relying on undocumented behavior of ksh. But I have tested this under HP-UX and it is working.

To get the master script to even employ process groups I had to do:
set -o monitor
early in the master script. Turning the monitor option on and off is really intended for interactive shells. I seemed to get away with it in a script. Most of the job control stuff did not work very well in non-interactive mode. I was hoping that I just just use the job control commands in a script, but there were too many problems with them. But with monitor mode set, the shell put background jobs in a seperate process group and it set the process group id to the process id returned in the $! parameter. I expected this behavior, but I can't find it documented on the ksh man page.

But now I had both the pid and process group id of the background process. The kill command can take a negative number as the second argument. If it is not -1, it is taken as a process group id and the signal is sent to all members of the process group.

The signal SIGSTOP will cause a process to suspend. And the signal SIGCONT will cause a stopped process to resume.

When the subsidiary process finishes, the process group will persist until all members of the process group have exited. At that point, a kill command target to the now defunct process group will fail. A script can check the return code fro the kill command to detect when this happens.

This should be enough clues to complete the homework assignment. Have fun... I did! Smilie
# 10  
Old 09-25-2002
another possibility

Another way to do it I found out, is to use some arguments of the kill command: kill -STOP and kill -CONT. This works great when used with a loop.
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