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
SYNOPSIS LSB 3.1
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
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
-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.
(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.
The pid found in this file is used as session id of the same
binary program which should be ignored by killproc.
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 sendmail.pid 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/lpd.pid /usr/sbin/lpd
sends the signal SIGTERM to the pid found in /var/myrun/lpd.pid
if and only if this pid belongs to /usr/sbin/lpd. If the named
/var/myrun/lpd.pid 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
3rd Berkeley Distribution Nov 10, 2000 KILLPROC(8)
Man(1) output converted with