kill (1) - Linux Manuals

kill: send a signal to a process


kill - send a signal to a process


kill [options] <pid> [...]


The default signal for kill is TERM. Use -l or -L to list available signals. Particularly useful signals include HUP, INT, KILL, STOP, CONT, and 0. Alternate signals may be specified in three ways: -9, -SIGKILL or -KILL. Negative PID values may be used to choose whole process groups; see the PGID column in ps command output. A PID of -1 is special; it indicates all processes except the kill process itself and init.


<pid> [...]
Send signal to every <pid> listed.
-s <signal> --signal <signal> Specify the signal to be sent. The signal can be specified by using name or number. The behavior of signals is explained in signal(7) manual page.
-q, --queue value
Use sigqueue(3) rather than kill(2) and the value argument is used to specify an integer to be sent with the signal. If the receiving process has installed a handler for this signal using the SA_SIGINFO flag to sigaction(2) , then it can obtain this data via the si_value field of the siginfo_t structure.
-l, --list [signal]
List signal names. This option has optional argument, which will convert signal number to signal name, or other way round.
-L, --table
List signal names in a nice table.


Your shell (command line interpreter) may have a built-in kill command. You may need to run the command described here as /bin/kill to solve the conflict.


kill -9 -1
Kill all processes you can kill.
kill -l 11
Translate number 11 into a signal name.
kill -L
List the available signal choices in a nice table.
kill 123 543 2341 3453
Send the default signal, SIGTERM, to all those processes.


This command meets appropriate standards. The -L flag is Linux-specific.


Albert Cahalan wrote kill in 1999 to replace a bsdutils one that was not standards compliant. The util-linux one might also work correctly.


Please send bug reports to


kill(2), killall(1), nice(1), pkill(1), renice(1), signal(7), sigqueue(3), skill(1)