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TIMEOUT(1) User Commands TIMEOUT(1)


timeout - run a command with a time limit


timeout [ OPTION]


Start COMMAND, and kill it if still running after DURATION.
Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
exit with the same status as COMMAND, even when the
command times out
when not running timeout directly from a shell prompt,
allow COMMAND to read from the TTY and get TTY signals; in this mode, children of COMMAND will not be timed out
-k, --kill-after=DURATION
also send a KILL signal if COMMAND is still running
this long after the initial signal was sent
-s, --signal=SIGNAL
specify the signal to be sent on timeout;
SIGNAL may be a name like 'HUP' or a number; see 'kill -l' for a list of signals
display this help and exit
output version information and exit
DURATION is a floating point number with an optional suffix: 's' for seconds (the default), 'm' for minutes, 'h' for hours or 'd' for days.
If the command times out, and --preserve-status is not set, then exit with status 124. Otherwise, exit with the status of COMMAND. If no signal is specified, send the TERM signal upon timeout. The TERM signal kills any process that does not block or catch that signal. It may be necessary to use the KILL (9) signal, since this signal cannot be caught, in which case the exit status is 128+9 rather than 124.


Some platforms don't curently support timeouts beyond 2038


Written by Padraig Brady.


GNU coreutils online help: <>
Report timeout translation bugs to <>


Copyright © 2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


Full documentation at: <>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) timeout invocation'
March 2015 GNU coreutils 8.23