Killing a process with Linux is an easy task. As always there is more than one way to do it. There are graphical process managers that can be used to aid in killing a process on Linux. The first method I’ll demonstrate may work depending on your window manager. Either way you can set it up to work the same way if you like it.
The name of the program is xkill. My XFCE has a shortcut of CTRL+ALT+ESC but this may not be the case for every version of XFCE. Basically you press this keyboard shortcut and you get a skull and crossbones. Once you get that you can click on the window of the process you’d like to kill and it kills it.
To use Linux to kill a process from the command line, you can use one of two commands that are pretty standard throughout all Linux Distros the kill, and killall commands. The only real hard part is figuring out what process to kill. To figure out what process I want to kill I use the following command:
then to use kill and killall on Linux I use:
owen@linux-blog:~$ kill [processid]
owen@linux-blog:~$ killall [processname]
This is pretty straight forward but if you have say multiple FireFoxes open, you may want to just kill the process by using the kill [processid] command, otherwise all of your FireFox windows will probably close since killall kills all processes that match the name, regardless of if they actually are crashed or not.
If the process won’t die, you can use the following to kill it. Be aware that this is not the best thing to do but it will kill the process.
owen@linux-blog:~$ kill -9 [processid]
owen@linux-blog:~$ killall -9 [processname]
Basically instead of killing gracefully you send a SIGKILL to the process which is basically tells it to commit suicide no matter what its currently doing. I’ve listed all of the signals you can send to kill a process at the end of this post.
Another method to kill a process is by using top. Top is an interface that shows you what processes are doing what. You can kill a process (once your in top) by pressing the k key. It then asks you what PID (Process ID) you want to kill. You can figure this out from the list. It then asks what type of signal you want to use. You can use the default first, and then if the process just wont die, you can use 9. Top is useful for killing a bunch of processes in a small amount of time.
List of all signals that you can send:
owen@linux-blog:~$ kill -l
1) SIGHUP 2) SIGINT 3) SIGQUIT 4) SIGILL
5) SIGTRAP 6) SIGABRT 7) SIGBUS 8) SIGFPE
9) SIGKILL 10) SIGUSR1 11) SIGSEGV 12) SIGUSR2
13) SIGPIPE 14) SIGALRM 15) SIGTERM 16) SIGSTKFLT
17) SIGCHLD 18) SIGCONT 19) SIGSTOP 20) SIGTSTP
21) SIGTTIN 22) SIGTTOU 23) SIGURG 24) SIGXCPU
25) SIGXFSZ 26) SIGVTALRM 27) SIGPROF 28) SIGWINCH
29) SIGIO 30) SIGPWR 31) SIGSYS 34) SIGRTMIN
35) SIGRTMIN+1 36) SIGRTMIN+2 37) SIGRTMIN+3 38) SIGRTMIN+4
39) SIGRTMIN+5 40) SIGRTMIN+6 41) SIGRTMIN+7 42) SIGRTMIN+8
43) SIGRTMIN+9 44) SIGRTMIN+10 45) SIGRTMIN+11 46) SIGRTMIN+12
47) SIGRTMIN+13 48) SIGRTMIN+14 49) SIGRTMIN+15 50) SIGRTMAX-14
51) SIGRTMAX-13 52) SIGRTMAX-12 53) SIGRTMAX-11 54) SIGRTMAX-10
55) SIGRTMAX-9 56) SIGRTMAX-8 57) SIGRTMAX-7 58) SIGRTMAX-6
59) SIGRTMAX-5 60) SIGRTMAX-4 61) SIGRTMAX-3 62) SIGRTMAX-2