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kill -l on Solaris


© December 2004 Tony Lawrence

What is this stuff?

The "kill" command is often a shell builtin, which can confuse people because it may work differently on different systems; not because of the OS per se but rather because of the specific shell or its lineage.

In this specific case, the original poster wanted to capture exit status using kill -l. Specifically, he wanted to know what signal had terminated his process. He gave examples of using kill -l on SCO Unix, Linux, and Sunos, but the real issue was the shell - the built in shell "kill" was different (as it often is)..

Note that "man kill" is not necessarily the same as (for instance) doing "man bash" and skipping down to the section that describes the built-in kill. If you specifically want /bin/kill, just call it that way.

At the OS level, there is, of course, a kill function, and on some systems a specific "raise" function that allows a process to send a signal to itself.

When using "kill", the question often is asked: When should I use kill -9? and Why can't I kill a process with -9?.

The "killall" command is handy on Linux, Solaris, and BSD, but can be dangerous in other places: Killall doesn't work!

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