Kill Process In Ubuntu Linux

by on December 7, 2010 · 4 comments· LAST UPDATED December 7, 2010


How can I kill a process using the bash command prompt? Do I always need to kill the process using PID?

To kill processes by name use the killall command. The syntax is as follows:

killall -SIGNAME process-name

The default signal for kill is TERM (terminate process). To list available signals, enter:
$ kill -l
The following are useful signals and used frequently by sys admins and Ubuntu users:

  1. SIGHUP (1) - Hangup detected on controlling terminal or death of controlling process.
  2. SIGINT (2) - Interrupt from keyboard.
  3. SIGKILL (9) - Kill signal i.e. kill running process.
  4. SIGSTOP (19) - Stop process.
  5. SIGCONT (18) - Continue process if stopped.

Examples - Ubuntu Linux: Killing Process

To kill all apache2 process, enter:
$ sudo killall -9 apache2
To kill all firefox process, enter:
$ sudo killall -9 firefox-bin
You can also use the pkill command as follows to kill all php-cgi process, enter:
$ pkill -KILL php-cgi
The -u option will kill only processes whose effective user ID is set to vivek:
$ sudo pkill -KILL -u vivek php-cgi

See also:

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 zzeroo December 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm

If you have a process name you can kill them via:


even better is the program pkill


This kill all processes named PROCESSNAME.


2 Vladimir December 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm

kill -SIGKILL `pidof process-name`


3 Sourav April 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

The last one worked for me

Thank you Vladimir


4 Mutapa May 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Thanks a million. acroread was killing my machine and the killall -9 acroread did the trick. I can now work.


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