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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 64 down vote accepted

As maxschlepzig said you could use kill

For a 'polite' end to the process (prefer this for normal use), sent SIGTSTP:

kill -TSTP [pid]

For a 'hard' kill, sent SIGSTOP:

kill -STOP [pid]

Note that if the process you are trying to stop by PID is in your shell's job table, it may remain visible there, but terminated, until the process is fg'd again.

To resume execution of the process, sent SIGCONT:

kill -CONT [pid]
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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
Also useful to note that you can reference the [pid] value by using the % symbol and then the job number (one that you can find by running jobs). So you'd go: kill -TSTP %1 – Horak May 2 at 22:58

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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