— find or signal processes by
pgrep command searches the process
table on the running system and prints the process IDs of all processes that
match the criteria given on the command line.
pkill command searches the process
table on the running system and signals all processes that match the
criteria given on the command line.
The following options are available:
- Specify a delimiter to be printed between each process ID. The default is
a newline. This option can only be used with the
- Match against full argument lists. The default is to match against process names.
- Restrict matches to processes with a real group ID in the comma-separated list gid.
- Restrict matches to processes with a process group ID in the
comma-separated list pgrp. The value zero is taken
to mean the process group ID of the running
- Ask for confirmation before killing a process.
- Long output. Print the process name in addition to the process ID for each
matching process. If used in conjunction with
-f, print the process ID and the full argument list for each matching process (
- Match only the most recently created (newest) process, if any. Cannot be
used in conjunction with
- Match only the least recently created (oldest) process, if any. Cannot be
used in conjunction with
- Restrict matches to processes with a parent process ID in the comma-separated list ppid.
- Quiet mode. Perform the action, but don't display anything on standard
output. Note that
-qtakes precedence over other display options such as
- Restrict matches to processes with a session ID in the comma-separated
list sid. The value zero is taken to mean the
session ID of the running
- Restrict matches to processes associated with the specified routing tables in the comma-separated list rtable.
- Restrict matches to processes associated with a terminal in the comma-separated list tty. Terminal names may be of the form ‘ttyxx’ or the shortened form ‘xx’. A single dash (‘-’) matches processes not associated with a terminal.
- Restrict matches to processes with a real user ID in the comma-separated list uid.
- Restrict matches to processes with an effective user ID in the comma-separated list euid.
- Reverse the sense of the matching; display or signal processes that do not match the given criteria.
- Require an exact match of the process name, or argument list if
-fis given. The default is to match any substring.
- A non-negative decimal number or symbolic signal name specifying the
signal to be sent instead of the default TERM. This option is valid only
when given as the first argument to
If any pattern operands are specified, they
are used as regular expressions to match the command name or, if
-f is specified, the full argument list of each
process. However, presently OpenBSD will only keep
track of the first 16 characters of the command name for each process.
Attempts to match any characters after the first 16 of a command name will
Note that a running
pkill process will never consider itself or system
processes (kernel threads) as a potential match.
pkill utilities exit with one of the following
- One or more processes were matched.
- No processes were matched.
- Invalid options were specified on the command line.
- An internal error occurred.
grep(1), kill(1), ps(1), kill(2), sigaction(2), re_format(7)
first appeared in OpenBSD 3.5. They are modelled
after utilities of the same name that appeared in Sun Solaris 7.
Andrew Doran <ad@NetBSD.org>.