kill (1)

Quick Reference

Sends a signal to a process, usually related to stopping the process. All signals except for SIGKILL and SIGSTOP can be intercepted by the process to perform a clean exit.

  • Terminate a program using the default SIGTERM (terminate) signal:

kill {{process_id}}

  • List available signal names (to be used without the SIG prefix):

kill -l

  • Terminate a program using the SIGHUP (hang up) signal. Many daemons will reload instead of terminating:

kill -{{1|HUP}} {{process_id}}

  • Terminate a program using the SIGINT (interrupt) signal. This is typically initiated by the user pressing Ctrl + C:

kill -{{2|INT}} {{process_id}}

  • Signal the operating system to immediately terminate a program (which gets no chance to capture the signal):

kill -{{9|KILL}} {{process_id}}

  • Signal the operating system to pause a program, it until a SIGCONT ("continue") signal is received:

kill -{{17|STOP}} {{process_id}}


kill - send signals to processes, or list signals


kill [ -s SIGNAL | -SIGNAL] PID...
kill -l [SIGNAL]...
kill -t [SIGNAL]...


Send signals to processes, or list signals.
Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
-s, --signal=SIGNAL, -SIGNAL
specify the name or number of the signal to be sent
-l, --list
list signal names, or convert signal names to/from numbers
-t, --table
print a table of signal information
display this help and exit
output version information and exit
SIGNAL may be a signal name like 'HUP', or a signal number like '1', or the exit status of a process terminated by a signal. PID is an integer; if negative it identifies a process group.
NOTE: your shell may have its own version of kill, which usually supersedes the version described here. Please refer to your shell's documentation for details about the options it supports.


Written by Paul Eggert.


GNU coreutils online help: <>
Report kill translation bugs to <>


Full documentation at: <>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) kill invocation'


GNU coreutils 8.29.13-0a854
Source updated
December 2, 2018
Page created
February 9, 2018
Page generated
December 2, 2018