Dariusz on Software

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Kill whole tree of processes on Linux
Wed, 25 May 2011 13:57:04 +0000

Since few months I'm responsible for managing build server that perfrorms regular builds for testing purposes. Sometimes I need to stop whole build job on server (probably composed of many processes). On Linux when parent process is killed all childen are not affected and are reallocated to init (PID=1) process. I'd like to stop them as well.

You can of course list process with hierarchy and kill processes manually:

ps xf
kill ... ...

But there's faster, automated, metod.

In order to kill process (given by $PID) and all subprocesses easilly you can use the following command:

kill $(ps -o pid= -s $(ps -o sess --no-heading --pid $PID))

Update 2011-12-17: there's alternative way to kill whole subtree that might be more accurate and depends on "ps xf" output:

ps xf | awk -v PID=$PID '
    $1 == PID { P = $1; next }
    P && /_/ { P = P " " $1; K=P }
    P && !/_/ { P="" }
    END { print "kill " K }'\
    | sh -x
Tags: linux.


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