kill - send a signal to a process


kill [ -signal | -s signal ] pid ...
kill [ -L | -V, --version ]
kill -l  [ signal ]


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 -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.


The signals listed below may be available for use with kill. When known constant, numbers and default behavior are shown.

Name Num Action Description 0 0 n/a exit code indicates if a signal may be sent
ALRM 14 exit
HUP 1 exit
INT 2 exit
KILL 9 exit cannot be blocked
PIPE 13 exit
POLL exit
PROF exit
TERM 15 exit
USR1 exit
USR2 exit
STKFLT exit might not be implemented
PWR ignore might exit on some systems
WINCH ignore
CHLD ignore
URG ignore
TSTP stop might interact with the shell
TTIN stop might interact with the shell
TTOU stop might interact with the shell
STOP stop cannot be blocked
CONT restart continue if stopped, otherwise ignore
ABRT 6 core
FPE 8 core
ILL 4 core
QUIT 3 core
SEGV 11 core
TRAP 5 core
SYS core might not be implemented
EMT core might not be implemented
BUS core core dump might fail
XCPU core core dump might fail
XFSZ core core dump might fail


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.


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


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 <>
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