I would like to know how to stop a running process after appending it with &.

For example, I would like to install software foo. Now, assume, foo has many dependancies, it takes an hour to finish. So, I do: yum install foo &. But I would like to stop that on-going process either by making it foreground (the actual premise of my question) so I can interrupt it, or through other methods if necessary.

Ctrl+C does not seem to stop this.

  • Try looking for the PID: pu aux | grep foo
    – ryekayo
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 19:57

4 Answers 4


If the terminal you launched the command from is still open, you can get it back by running fg.

If it is not, identify the process ID by running ps aux | grep yum or just pgrep yum and then use kill PID. Or, if you know you only have one yum instance, run pkill yum.

  • So, this will kill the entire yum process. Not specific to that foo thread? Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 20:07
  • 3
    @CONtext not sure what you mean. The "foo thread" is the yum process. In any case, the fg doesn't kill anything, it just brings a backgrounded job back to the foreground.
    – terdon
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 20:08

If you are in the same shell, you can always foreground that process with fg (if your shell supports it) at that point you can perform your Ctrl+C.

As others have mentioned, you can use a wide variety of ps and kill options.

If you want, you can even use top and filter to your username and kill that way.


Try this:

kill -QUIT `pidof yum`

This will stop, terminate this process. It may be required to use some better force than QUIT signal, then try TERM and after that try KILL.

You may be also a little more lazy and just do this:

killall -QUIT yum

This will hit all processes named yum.


The key combination you are looking for isn't


you use that when you interrupt the process (equivalent to using ctrl-c)

If you ctrl-z instead you would place the job in the background, similar to using & at the end.

However this way you would be able to bring the process back to the foreground by using fg

Alternatively you can look for the pid using pidof as mentioned by Scyld

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