Today's article is kind of a follow-up to a previous article...


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If you're familiar with Arlo Guthrie's song "Alice's Restaurant" then you'll remember how he went down to the draft board and proceeded to jump up and down on the table saying how he wanted to kill. Alas, his conviction for littering was enough to put him on the Group W bench.

Anyhow, sometimes there's just a process that needs to be killed. It happens and we kill processes to put them out of their misery. It's just the humane thing to do!

This can be a pretty complicated subject. So, I did what I could to make it easy. We only directly cover two different commands. First, we ask the process to die gracefully. If it refuses to die, we get out the hammer and kill the process without any finesse at all.

There are a zillion ways to kill processes. In this case, we're sending signals manually through the terminal. They can be killed in a variety of ways, including through your GUI task manager. There are also a whole list of signals you can send. I did not cover those.

If you didn't catch the first article and don't know what a PID is, you can consider this article a bit of a prequel:

That'll get you started. The two I use most are 'ps aux' and 'pgrep'. I don't think all that many people use pgrep as it's seldom mentioned. The great thing about killing processes by using their PID is that each process has its own PID.

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