killproc  [-vqLN]  [-g|-G]  [-p pid_file]  [-i ingnore_file]  [-c root]
              [-t <sec>] [-<SIG>] /full/path/to/executable

       killproc -n [-vq] [-g|-G] [-t <sec>] [-<SIG>] name_of_kernel_thread

       killproc    [-vq] [-g|-G] [-t <sec>] [-<SIG>] basename_of_executable

       killproc -l


       killproc [-p pid_file] /full/path/to/executable [-<SIG>]


       killproc sends signals to all processes that  use  the  specified  exe-
       cutable.   If  no signal name is specified, the signal SIGTERM is sent.
       If this program is not called with the name  killproc  then  SIGHUP  is
       used.  Note  that if no signal is specified on the command line and the
       program killproc can not terminate a process with the  default  SIGTERM
       the  signal  SIGKILL is send after a few seconds (default is 5 seconds,
       see option -t).  If a program has been terminated  successfully  and  a
       verified  pid file was found, this pid file will be removed if the ter-
       minated process didn't already do so.

       killproc does not use the pid to send a signal to  a  process  but  the
       full  path  of  the corresponding program which is used to identify the
       executable (see proc(5)).  Only if inode number  (/proc/<pid>/exe)  and
       full  path name of the executable (/proc/<pid>/cmdline) are unavailable
       or if the executable has changed its zeroth argument, killproc uses the
       base name (/proc/<pid>/stat) to identify the running program. Note that
       if the option -n for kernel thread is given, only (/proc/<pid>/stat) is
       used.   For this case an existing symbolic link (/proc/<pid>/exe) indi-
       cates that the <pid> is not a kernel thread.

       The last variant of the killproc call is only with the basename of  the
       executable.   This is required by the Linux Standard Base Specification
       (LSB).  Note that this disables the comparision of the  inodes  of  the
       executable  and  the  information  found  within  the  proc  table (see
       proc(5)).  This implies that if no pid file is  found  it  may  happens
       that  programs  or  script with the same base name will killed instead.
       killproc tries to determine the pid of its parent and pid of the parent
       of its parent to not to kill those two processes.

       Extended  functionality  is  provided by the -p pid_file option (former
       option -f changed due to the LSB specification).   If  this  option  is
       specified,  killproc tries to send the signal to the pid read from this
       file instead of from the default  pid  file  (/var/run/<basename>.pid).
       If the pid_file does not exist, killproc assumes that the daemon is not
       running.  It is possible to use a process identity number instead of  a
       pid file.

       For the possibility of having two different sessions of one binary pro-
              Specifies  the executable to which the signal should be sent, or
              alternatively, if the option -n is used, the name of the  kernel
              thread. This argument is always required.


       -G     Sends  the  signal  to  all  session followers (children) of the
              identified process.

       -g     Sends the signal to all members of  the  session  including  the
              identified  process.   Note that usually the option -G should be

       -L     This option causes symlinks to be followed,  as  the  like-named
              option  in  ls(1).  Note: for the file name the original name of
              the program is used instead of the name of the symbolic link.

       -p pid_file
              (Former option -f changed due to the LSB specification.)  Use an
              alternate  pid  file  instead  of  the  default (/var/run/<base-
              name>.pid).  If the pid_file does not  exist,  killproc  assumes
              that the daemon is not running.  It is possible to use a process
              identity number instead of a pid file.

       -i ignore_file
              The pid found in this file is used as session  id  of  the  same
              binary program which should be ignored by killproc.

       -c root
              Change  root  directory  to  root  for  services which have been
              started with this option by startproc(8).

       -n     This option indicates that a kernel thread should  be  signaled.
              In  this  case  not  the  executable  with its full path name is
              required but the name of the kernel thread.

       -N     With this option the location of the executable is checked about
              NFS  file  system  and  if  true  the stat(2) system call is not
              applied on the exe  symbolic  link  under  /proc(5).   Otherwise
              killproc could be locked if the corresponding NFS server is cur-
              rently not online or available.  This  implies  that  the  inode
              number  check between the exectuable on the command line and the
              exectuable of the exec symbolic link will be skipped.

       -<SIG> Signals  can be specified either by name (e.g. -HUP, -SIGHUP) or
              by number (e.g. -1).

              The  number  <sec>  specifies  the  seconds  to wait between the
              default signal SIGTERM and the subsequentially signal SIGKILL if
              the  first SIGTERM does not show any result within the first few
              milli seconds.  This timeout defaults  to  5  seconds.   On  the
              other  hand  if  the  signal SIGTERM was  explicitly used on the
              sends  the  signal SIGTERM to the running sendmail process. If a
              pid file exists in /var/run/ then the pid from this
              file  is being used after verification to terminate the sendmail
              process.  Other running processes are ignored.

       killproc -p /var/myrun/ /usr/sbin/lpd

              sends the signal SIGTERM to the pid found in  /var/myrun/
              if  and only if this pid belongs to /usr/sbin/lpd.  If the named
              /var/myrun/ does not exist,  killproc  assumes  that  the
              daemon  of /usr/sbin/lpd is not running.  The exit status is set
              to 0 for successfully delivering the default signals SIGTERM and
              SIGKILL  otherwise  to  7 if the program was not running.  It is
              also successful if no signal was specified and  no  program  was
              there for Termination because it is already terminated.


       The exit codes have the following LSB conform conditions:

              0    Success or program was not running (no signal specified)

              1    Generic or unspecified error

              2    Invalid or excess argument(s)

              4    Insufficient privilege(s)

              5    Program is not installed

              7    Program was not running to receive the specified signal

       In  some  error cases, diagnostic output is sent to standard error, or,
       if standard error is not available, syslogd(8) is being used.


       killproc is a replacment for the Bourne shell function  killproc  found
       in  the  widely  used  SysVinit  package  of  Miquel  van  Smoorenburg,


       Identifying a process based on the executable file and the  correspond-
       ing  inode  number  only  works if the process stays alive during kill-
       proc's execution. Impure executables like shell scripts (the inode num-
       ber  of  the shell is not identical to that of the script) and programs
       rewriting their zeroth argument may not be identified by a file name.

       Killproc isn't able to signal processes being in the zombie state. Zom-
       bies  are  processes which  arn't alive but listed in the process table
       to have the exit status ready for the corresponding parent processes.



       Werner Fink <>

3rd Berkeley Distribution Nov 10, 2000 KILLPROC(8)

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