[USER@SERVER ~] sleep 3 &
[1] 5232
[1]+  Done                    sleep 3

How do I /dev/null these two messages?:

[1] 5232
[1]+  Done                    sleep 3

p.s.: so I need the output of the process, but not the mentioned two lines!

  • You only get those lines when you run it interactively. You don't if you run it from a script, for example. – derobert Jan 25 '13 at 0:25

It's not the program output, it's some useful shell information.

Anyway, those can be hided by using subshell and output redirection

( sleep 3 & ) > /dev/null 2>&1
  • 2
    "2>/dev/null" is the good thing, i need the output from the process – LanceBaynes Dec 10 '11 at 12:36
  • @LanceBaynes The process could also write something on stderr. – Chris Down Dec 10 '11 at 18:45
  • 2
    It's unfortunate that this defeats the retrieval of pid with $! – Deleplace Jun 8 '16 at 14:08

In bash or zsh, you can call disown %1 to tell the shell to forget about the job. Then the shell won't print any message about that job, nor will it show it when you run jobs or ever send a SIGHUP to it. In zsh, starting the job with &! instead of & is equivalent to calling disown on it immediately.


Can't comment (yet) on @Gilles but it seems that & disown also works in bash:

sleep 3 & disown
  • This doesn't seem to work in Bash v.4.1.2 – Alexej Magura Jan 13 '17 at 16:16


user@host:~$ read < <( sleep 10 & echo $! )
user@host:~$ echo $REPLY

And you have hidden both the output and the PID. Note that you can still retrieve the PID from $REPLY

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