Linux kill sign numbers


This educational explains what Linux kill indicators are and how one can use them to break, terminate, droop and proceed processes.

What is Linux kill indicators?

Kill indicators permit interplay between other processes. Concretely indicators are tournament notifications despatched to processes most commonly to break, terminate, kill or droop processes (That’s why we use the time period “kill”). Signals can also be despatched by means of processes or by means of the kernel, and most often they’re despatched when an anomaly or remarkable situation calls for particular processing, or when a person interrupts or terminates a procedure manually (e.g., when urgent Ctrl+C),

When a sign is shipped to a procedure, that sign, or notification, would possibly meet a default motion as a reaction or is also treated by means of a sign handler. A sign handler is a customized code of this system whose procedure gained the sign, which defines the conduct of the method when the sign is gained (except for for indicators SIGKILL and SIGSTOP, which is able to’t be treated, left out, nor blocked).

When the sign is shipped, the default movements which would possibly happen are the next:

  • Term: The procedure is terminated.
  • Ign: The sign is left out with out affecting the method.
  • Core: A dump-core report is created.
  • Stop: The procedure is stopped.
  • Cont: The procedure resumes after being stopped.

Depending at the sign a few of these movements would possibly happen, this system can even include a sign handler to execute the right kind motion.

Summarized: indicators are messages dropped at processes notifying them an tournament befell.

Available indicators:

To record all sign names and numbers for your gadget, you’ll be able to use the kill command adopted by means of the -l flag, as proven underneath.

As you’ll be able to see, there are 64 indicators, some of the identified by means of all folks is the quantity 9 (SIGKILL) used to terminate processes together with kid processes, right away.

  • SIGKILL (9): The SIGKILL sign is used to kill or terminate processes right away. SIGKILL indicators can’t be treated, left out, or stopped.
  • SIGSTOP (19): This sign is to forestall or pause processes that may be later resumed.
  • SIGCONT (18): The SIGCONT sign is used to renew stopped or paused processes.

How to make use of kill indicators:

The proper syntax to ship indicators is:


kill -SignalNumber> PID>

You can substitute ir with the names or numbers we were given prior to now when working the kill -l command. The PID is the method ID you’ll be able to be informed by means of the usage of the playstation command as proven within the following directions.

To start the sensible segment of this educational, let’s check out the SIGSTOP and SIGCONT to pause a procedure after which resume it.
For the primary instance, I created a little bit code-named linuxhintsignal that incessantly prints “” as proven within the screenshot underneath.

To ship a sign to the method, prior to I wish to be informed its PID. To see the Process ID (PID) you want to run the playstation command. In my case, I’m the person who carried out the method, so I exploit the playstation command adopted by means of the -u flag to turn my processes handiest.

Note: for extra directions at the playstation command, learn Using the playstation command in Linux.

As you’ll be able to see, the PID of the working linuxhintsignal script is 16182.

The following screenshot displays two terminals; the appropriate terminal displays the supply of the SIGSTOP sign to procedure 16182. The left terminal displays how the method is stopped once I ship the sign.

As you’ll be able to see at the proper terminal, the method used to be stopped correctly.

You wish to ship the SIGCONT sign to renew the method execution, as proven within the screenshots underneath.

As you’ll be able to see, the method resumed.

You can reach the similar consequence by means of changing the sign names for his or her numbers. The following instance repeats the former situation, however this time is defining indicators by means of their numbers.

The following instance additionally displays how the SIGKILL is dropped at procedure 17721 to pause it. This time as a substitute of specifying the sign identify, I specify the sign quantity returned by means of the kill -l command, on this case, 19 for the SIGSTOP sign.

The following screenshot displays how one can specify the SIGCONT sign, additionally the usage of its quantity as a substitute of its identify.

As you’ll be able to see, the end result is identical when the usage of the sign identify or quantity.

As stated prior to now, the SIGKILL sign is used to terminate a procedure totally; it’s some of the used sign by means of customers.

As you’ll be able to see within the instance underneath, during which SIGKILL is carried out with its quantity (9), the script used to be totally terminated or killed.

Other essential indicators:

  • SIGINT: This sign is delivered when the person requests the method interruption (e.g., Ctrl+C).
  • IGTERM: The SIGTERM sign is dropped at request a procedure termination, however handiest to request and to not terminate. Contrary to SIGKILL or SIGSTOP, this sign can also be treated, blocked, or left out.
  • SIGILL: This sign is used to terminate processes as the reason for an error corresponding to operation or execution mistakes. This sign can’t be left out.
  • SIGCHLD: Used to inform father or mother processes on kid processes occasions.
  • SIGHUP: This sign is caused when the relationship is rapidly interrupted.
  • SIGPIPE: This sign is shipped to processes seeking to write to a pipe and not using a learn finish or which is able to’t be learn.
  • SIGQUIT: This sign is very similar to SIGINT however produces a core sell off.


Using Linux indicators to kill, forestall, pause processes, amongst different purposes, is a fundamental wisdom any Linux person will have to cling. Deep wisdom of indicators is particularly related for programmers who will have to be sure that sign handlers don’t produce side effects at the gadget. As you’ll be able to see, there are dozens of to be had indicators; this educational handiest fascinated with the most typical ones. You can get additional information on Linux indicators at

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