Kill Process In Ubuntu Linux

Posted on in Categories 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:

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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