Killing a Runaway Process

Occasionally, someone will start a process or job going that does something unexpected, or just cannot be stopped by the user. Sometimes, this job is a stuck login that a user cannot boot, or that a user cannot be bothered to boot.

In this case, it's a good idea to know how to kill a stuck or runaway process.

su root
ps x
A list of processes will scroll across the screen, each with a number assigned to it. This is the PID, or process ID number. Locate the process to be killed and type
kill -HUP PID
where PID is the process ID number.
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Created: May 12, 1999
Last updated: May 13, 1999