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23.7 timeout: Run a command with a time limit

timeout runs the given command and kills it if it is still running after the specified time interval. Synopsis:

     timeout [option] duration command [arg]...

command must not be a special built-in utility (see Special built-in utilities).

The program accepts the following options. Also see Common options. Options must precede operands.

Don't create a separate background program group, so that the managed command can use the foreground TTY normally. This is needed to support timing out commands not started directly from an interactive shell, in two situations.
  1. command is interactive and needs to read from the terminal for example
  2. the user wants to support sending signals directly to command from the terminal (like Ctrl-C for example)

Note in this mode of operation, any children of command will not be timed out.

-k duration
Ensure the monitored command is killed by also sending a ‘KILL’ signal, after the specified duration. Without this option, if the selected signal proves not to be fatal, timeout does not kill the command.
-s signal
Send this signal to command on timeout, rather than the default ‘TERM’ signal. signal may be a name like ‘HUP’ or a number. Also see See Signal specifications.

duration is a floating point number followed by an optional unit:

s’ for seconds (the default)
     ‘m’ for minutes
     ‘h’ for hours
     ‘d’ for days

A duration of 0 disables the associated timeout. Note that the actual timeout duration is dependent on system conditions, which should be especially considered when specifying sub-second timeouts.

Exit status:

     124 if command times out
     125 if timeout itself fails
     126 if command is found but cannot be invoked
     127 if command cannot be found
     137 if command is sent the KILL(9) signal (128+9)
     the exit status of command otherwise