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In the bash terminal I can hit Control+Z to suspend any running process... then I can type fg to resume the process.

Is it possible to suspend a process if I only have it's PID? And if so, what command should I use?

I'm looking for something like:

suspend-process $PID_OF_PROCESS

and then to resume it with

resume-process $PID_OF_PROCESS
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up vote 55 down vote accepted

As maxschlepzig said you could use kill

kill -TSTP [pid]


kill -CONT [pid]

Note: Refer to the comments for the distinction between SIGSTOP and SIGTSTP.

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Unless there are other reasons for it, I would prefer SIGTSTP over SIGSTOP, as some applications do handle SIGTSTP specially. For example, if scp is showing a progress bar, SIGTSTP will cause it to clean up the terminal mode before suspending, but if you send SIGSTOP, it will not have a chance to do so. – ephemient Sep 15 '10 at 21:55
@ephemient I tried SIGTSTP, I saw what you were saying about it cleaning up the terminal. Thanks for the explanation of SIGTSTP, alawys good to learn new things :) – Steve Burdine Sep 15 '10 at 22:38

You should use the kill command for that.

To be more verbose - you have to specify the right signal, i.e.


for suspending the process and


for resuming it.

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