Job control refers to the ability to selectively stop (suspend) the execution of processes and continue (resume) their execution at a later point. A user typically employs this facility via an interactive interface supplied jointly by the system's terminal driver and Bash.
The shell associates a job with each pipeline. It keeps a table
of currently executing jobs, which can be listed with the
command. When Bash starts a job asynchronously, it prints a line that looks
indicating that this job is job number 1 and that the process ID of the last process in the pipeline associated with this job is 25647. All of the processes in a single pipeline are members of the same job. Bash uses the job abstraction as the basis for job control.
To facilitate the implementation of the user interface to job control, the
operating system maintains the notion of a current terminal process group ID.
Members of this process group (processes whose process group ID is equal to
the current terminal process group ID) receive keyboard-generated signals such
SIGINT. These processes are said to be in the foreground. Background
processes are those whose process group ID differs from the terminal's; such
processes are immune to keyboard-generated signals. Only foreground processes
are allowed to read from or write to the terminal. Background processes which
attempt to read from (write to) the terminal are sent a
SIGTTOU) signal by the terminal driver, which, unless caught,
suspends the process.
If the operating system on which Bash is running supports job control, Bash
contains facilities to use it. Typing the suspend character (typically
`^Z', Control-Z) while a process is running causes that process
to be stopped and returns control to Bash.
Typing the delayed suspend character (typically `^Y', Control-Y) causes the process to be stopped when it attempts to read input from the terminal, and control to be returned to Bash. The user then manipulates the state of this job, using the
bg command to continue it in the
fg command to continue it in the foreground, or
kill command to kill it.
A `^Z' takes effect immediately, and has the additional side effect of causing pending output and typeahead to be discarded.
There are a number of ways to refer to a job in the shell. The character `%' introduces a job name.
n can be referred to as `%n'. The symbols
`%%' and `%+' refer to the shell's notion of the current
job, which is the last job stopped while it was in the foreground or started
in the background. The previous job can be referenced using `%-'.
In output pertaining to jobs (e.g., the output of the
the current job is always flagged with a `+', and the previous
job with a `-'.
A job can also be referred to using a prefix of the name used to start it,
or using a substring that appears in its command line. For example, `%ce'
refers to a stopped
ce job. Using `%?ce', on the other
hand, refers to any job containing the string `ce' in its command
line. If the prefix or substring matches more than one job, Bash reports an
Simply naming a job can be used to bring it into the foreground: `%1' is a synonym for `fg %1', bringing job 1 from the background into the foreground. Similarly, `%1 &' resumes job 1 in the background, equivalent to `bg %1'
The shell learns immediately whenever a job changes state. Normally, Bash waits
until it is about to print a prompt before reporting changes in a job's status
so as to not interrupt any other output. If the the `-b' option
set builtin is enabled, Bash
reports such changes immediately.
If an attempt is made to exit Bash is while jobs are stopped, the shell prints
a message warning that there are stopped jobs. The
can then be used to inspect their status. If a second attempt to exit is made
without an intervening command, Bash does not print another warning, and the
stopped jobs are terminated.
When job control is not active, the
wait builtins do not accept jobspec arguments. They must be supplied process IDs.
Related linux commands:
bg - Resume the suspended job jobspec in the
cron - Daemon to execute scheduled commands
fg - Resume the suspended job jobspec in the foreground
jobs - list the active jobs
disown - Remove job from the table of active jobs
suspend - Suspend the execution of this shell
wait - Wait until the child process exits
PowerShell equivalent: Scheduler cmdlets