when I'm executing my bash-script, I'm getting the wrong PID. I'm needing the PID to kill the process at the end of it. This is a simplified script that is affected by the issue:

echo 'PASSWORD' | sudo -S ping -f '' & 
echo $PING_PID;

The output is for example

[1] 14336

PC:~ Account$ PING ( 56 data bytes
.PC:~ Account$..Request timeout for icmp_seq 18851

But when I'm looking to activity monitor (on Mac) I see that the ping-process has PID 14337, but why does the variable contains then 14336 and how to fix it?

  • Why do you grab bashpid instead of $? ?
    – Jeff Schaller
    Nov 24, 2016 at 16:12
  • Sounds a bit like you're getting the PID of the 'sudo' command.
    – mabako
    Nov 24, 2016 at 16:13
  • @JeffSchaller dont you mean - why not $$ ? Looking at the answer below I am thinking bash is doing some things differently than I am used to (ksh user rather than bash) Nov 24, 2016 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


$BASHPID is the PID of the current bash process. You are looking for $!; see man bash, especially special parameters and job control. Also, ping needs sudo only if you are using -f (flood). Using sudo may complicate things, because as far as bash knows you are running sudo, not ping, therefore $! will return the PID of sudo.

$ ping -c 5 www.example.com & echo "The PID of ping is $!" ; sleep 6
[1] 4022
The PID of ping is 4022
PING www.example.com ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.260 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.329 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.382 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.418 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=0.434 ms

--- www.example.com ping statistics ---
5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 4000ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.260/0.364/0.434/0.066 ms
[1]+  Done                    ping -c 5 www.example.com
  • Flood ping (-f) may need superuser privileges.
    – trosos
    Nov 24, 2016 at 16:35
  • You are right. I have edited my response to say this.
    – AlexP
    Nov 24, 2016 at 16:37

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