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nohup Command in Linux with Examples

Last Updated on November 30, 2023 by Abhishek Sharma

The world of Linux commands offers a multitude of functionalities, some of which empower users to execute tasks efficiently without being bound to a terminal session. Among these commands, nohup stands out as a versatile tool, enabling users to run processes that persist even after exiting a terminal session. Short for "no hang up," nohup ensures that a process continues running in the background, unaffected by the termination of the terminal. This article aims to delve into the intricacies of the nohup command in Linux, elucidating its usage, practical examples, and answering common queries to help users leverage this command effectively.

What is the nohup command in Linux with Examples?

The nohup command in Linux stands for "no hang up." It allows users to execute commands or processes that continue running even after they log out of the terminal or close the session. This command is particularly useful for executing long-running tasks or processes that you want to keep running in the background without being terminated when the terminal session ends.

Here are some examples illustrating the usage of the nohup command:

Example 1: Basic Usage
Executing a command with nohup:

nohup ./ &
  • ./ is the script or command you want to execute.
  • & at the end puts the process in the background.

Example 2: Running a Command with Output Redirection
Running a command with nohup and redirecting output to a file:

nohup python > output.log 2>&1 &
python is the command or script to be executed.
> output.log redirects standard output to a file named output.log.
2>&1 redirects standard error (stderr) to the same file as standard output.
& puts the process in the background.

Example 3: Stopping a Process Started with nohup
To stop a process started with nohup, you need to find its process ID (PID) using the ps command and then use kill to terminate it.

First, find the process ID (PID) using ps:

ps aux | grep

This will display information about the running process. Identify the PID from the output and use kill to stop it:

kill PID

Replace PID with the actual process ID obtained from the ps command output.

Example 4: Checking Running nohup Processes
To check for currently running processes started with nohup, you can use the ps command with options to display information about processes.

ps aux | grep nohup

This will display a list of processes that were started with nohup.

Example 5: Running Multiple Commands with nohup
You can execute multiple commands sequentially using nohup by chaining them with &&:

nohup command1 && command2 && command3 &

This will execute command1, command2, and command3 sequentially, and if each command succeeds (commandX returns a zero exit status), the subsequent command will be executed.

Example 6: Using nohup with ssh
Executing a command on a remote server via SSH using nohup:

ssh user@remote_server 'nohup ./ > output.log 2>&1 &’
  • This connects to remote_server as user and runs ./ with nohup, redirecting output to output.log.

In conclusion, the nohup command in Linux is a valuable asset for executing processes that demand autonomy from terminal sessions. Its capability to sustain processes beyond user logouts or session terminations ensures seamless execution of long-running tasks, server processes, or scripts. By understanding its usage, incorporating best practices for output handling, and navigating its nuances, users can harness the power of nohup to manage tasks effectively within the Linux command line environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on nohup in Linux

Below are some FAQs on nohup in Linux

Q1: What does nohup stand for?
nohup is short for "no hang up." It ensures that a process remains running even after the user logs out or terminates the terminal session.

Q2: How do I use nohup?
To use nohup, simply prepend it to the command you want to execute, followed by the command itself. For instance: nohup my_long_running_command &.

Q3: How can I redirect the output of a nohup command?
You can redirect the output of a nohup command to a file using shell redirection. For example: nohup my_command > output.log 2>&1 &.

Q4: Can I stop a process started with nohup?
Yes, you can stop a process started with nohup using standard Linux commands like kill or killall.

Q5: When should I use nohup?
Use nohup when you want to initiate a process that should continue running even after you log out or terminate your terminal session. It’s particularly useful for long-running tasks, server processes, or automated scripts.

Q6: Are there any limitations or considerations when using nohup?
While nohup is useful, it’s essential to manage outputs, errors, and logs appropriately. Ensure that you redirect outputs to files or handle them to prevent cluttering the terminal or missing important information.

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