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I have a process originally running in the foreground. I suspended by Ctrl+Z, and then resume its running in the background by bg <jobid>.

I wonder how to suspend a process running in the background?

How can I bring a background process to foreground?

Edit:

The process outputs to stderr, so how shall I issue the command fg <jobid> while the process is outputting to the terminal?

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You can still type commands in a terminal that is spewing errors. The text spewed on STDERR doesn't count as input, only the keys you send. It looks confusing on screen but it works. –  Caleb Aug 8 '12 at 19:42
    
@Caleb: Even when the process outputs to stdout, I can still type fg <jobid> to make it foreground? –  Tim Aug 8 '12 at 19:59
    
@Tim: Yes, you can. –  Caleb Aug 8 '12 at 21:22

3 Answers 3

up vote 35 down vote accepted

As Tim said, type fg to bring the last process back to foreground.

If you have more than one process running in the background, do this:

$ jobs
[1]   Stopped                 vim
[2]-  Stopped                 bash
[3]+  Stopped                 vim 23

fg %3 to send the vim 23 process back to foreground.

To suspend the process running in the background, use:

kill -19 %job_id.

the -19 signal is SIGSTOP (the signal sent by Ctrl - Z) .

example: kill -19 %3.

sources: one and two

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3  
signal 19 is SIGCONT for me; I use kill -STOP and kill -CONT in preference to remembering the numbers anyway, but you can check kill -l to remind yourself of the numeric values –  Useless Aug 8 '12 at 13:04
    
The process outputs to stderr, so how shall I issue the command job and fg <jobid> while the process is outputting to the terminal? –  Tim Aug 8 '12 at 13:19
1  
@Tim Just type the command as you normally would. As long as the job is backgrounded, it is not reading what you type - your shell is. What you type might look broken up to you, but the shell will understand it just fine. –  AlexWebr Aug 8 '12 at 14:30
    
@AlexWebr: Thanks, it works! (1) Does a background job not accept any input and output including "Ctrl+Z" etc, right? (2) Can a job running in the background be suspended directly? If yes, how? If no, must it be first changed to run in the foreground before it can be suspended? –  Tim Aug 8 '12 at 15:02
2  
Can a job running in the background be suspended directly yes: kill -STOP %job_id, as explained –  Useless Aug 8 '12 at 16:38

Type fg to bring it to the foreground.

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Thanks! The process outputs to stderr, so how shall I issue the command fg <jobid> while the process is outputting to the terminal? –  Tim Aug 8 '12 at 13:16

Ending a process can be done in several different ways. Often, from a console-based command, sending a Ctrlc keystroke (the default interrupt character) will exit the command. This works when process is running in foreground mode.

If a process is running in background mode then first you would need to get its Job ID using the ps command and after that you can use kill command to kill the process as follows:

$ps -f
UID      PID  PPID C STIME    TTY   TIME CMD
amrood   6738 3662 0 10:23:03 pts/6 0:00 first_one
amrood   6739 3662 0 10:22:54 pts/6 0:00 second_one
amrood   3662 3657 0 08:10:53 pts/6 0:00 -ksh
amrood   6892 3662 4 10:51:50 pts/6 0:00 ps -f
$kill 6738
Terminated

Here the kill command would terminate the first_one process. If a process ignores a regular kill command, you can use kill -9 followed by the process ID as follows:

$kill -9 6738
Terminated
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While this is true, it is not answering the question... –  jasonwryan 1 hour ago

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