$ help suspend
suspend: suspend [-f]
    Suspend shell execution.

    Suspend the execution of this shell until it receives a SIGCONT signal.

How should I send a SIGCONT signal to a shell suspended by suspend in a gnome terminal tab?

2 Answers 2


The same way as with any other suspended process: With fg, %, or any other similar job control builtin.

zsh% bash
bash$ suspend
zsh: suspended (signal)  bash
zsh% jobs
[1]  + suspended (signal)  bash
zsh% fg
[1]  + continued  bash
  • 1
    Note that fg will only work in the case of a subshell (i.e., job suspended by the current shell). Also, suspend will happily suspend the last shell in the chain without -f if it isn't a login shell (as is the case with a normal (local) terminal emulator shell, which is how I tested my answer). Sending a SIGCONT from another shell will work in both cases. (See my answer.) Dec 2, 2015 at 7:52
  • @type_outcast I removed the part about suspending the last shell, since it wasn't really important, so not worth adding a clarification and making the answer longer.
    – Mikel
    Dec 2, 2015 at 14:10


The only way to resume the suspended shell is to send the SIGCONT signal, presumably from another shell. You'll need to know the PID (process ID) of the shell.

kill -cont $shellpid

If you don't know the PID already, try this:

ps x | grep bash

For example, when I suspended my shell, I saw this with ps x | grep bash:

 6147 pts/14   S+     0:00 grep --color bash
 6172 pts/14   Ss     0:01 /bin/bash
15085 pts/0    Ss+    0:00 /bin/bash
15121 pts/12   Ts+    0:01 /bin/bash

Look at that third column. The shell you want is the one with the T, and that one has a PID (first column) of 15121. Of course the PID in your case will differ; this was just an example. Once you find the PID (let's say it is 15121), then run:

kill -cont 15121
  • What does the "T" mean?
    – Itachi
    Aug 30, 2017 at 3:49
  • 1
    The T status in ps(1) indicates a stopped process, which in this case was stopped via the suspend builtin. Sep 1, 2017 at 0:22
  • C-z on my GUI emacs suspends it, but emacs shows up like this with ps aux | grep emacs: gauthier 21308 0.5 1.3 453984 101564 ? Sl 15:03 0:07 /usr/bin/emacs I'm not sure why it says Sl and not T?
    – Gauthier
    Feb 2, 2021 at 14:25

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