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SLEEP(1) General Commands Manual SLEEP(1)

sleepsuspend execution for an interval of time

sleep seconds

The sleep utility suspends execution for at least the given number of seconds. seconds must be a non-negative decimal value and may contain a fraction.

Terminate early, with a zero exit status.

The sleep utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

Wait five seconds before running a command:

$ sleep 5; echo Hello, World!

List a file twice per second:

while ls -l file; do
	sleep 0.5


The sleep utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”) specification.

Support for fractional seconds is an extension to that specification.

A sleep utility first appeared in Version 4 AT&T UNIX.

This implementation of sleep first appeared in 4.3BSD-Tahoe.

July 30, 2022 OpenBSD-current