killall command in Linux is used to terminate or send a signal to multiple processes based on their names. It allows you to kill or signal all processes that match a specific name or pattern, making it a convenient way to terminate multiple processes at once.
The basic syntax of the
killall command is:
killall [options] process_name
Here are some commonly used options with the
--interactive: This option prompts for confirmation before killing each process.
--quiet: This option suppresses the error messages if no processes are found.
--signal signal: This option specifies the signal to send to the processes. The default signal is
Now, let’s look at a practical example to illustrate the usage of the
In this example, the
killall command is used to terminate all processes with the name “firefox”. It sends the
SIGTERM signal by default, which gracefully terminates the processes.
You can also specify a signal explicitly using the
-s option. For instance, to send the
SIGKILL signal (forceful termination) to all processes named “firefox”, you can use:
killall -s SIGKILL firefox
It’s important to note that the
killall command can be powerful, and it terminates processes without asking for confirmation by default. So, exercise caution when using it to avoid unintentional termination of critical processes.
Additionally, some Linux distributions also provide the
pkill command, which is similar to
killall but allows you to match processes based on more criteria, such as the user who owns the process or the process’s command line.
For more information and available options, you can refer to the manual page of
killall by typing
man killall in your terminal.