KILLALL(1) FreeBSD General Commands Manual KILLALL(1)


killallkill processes by name


killall [ -delmsvz][ -help][ -I][ -j jail][ -u user][ -t tty][ -c procname][ -SIGNAL][ procname ...]


The killall utility kills processes selected by name, as opposed to the selection by PID as done by kill(1). By default, it will send a TERM signal to all processes with a real UID identical to the caller of killall that match the name procname. The super-user is allowed to kill any process.

The options are as follows:

-d | -v
Be more verbose about what will be done. For a single -d option, a list of the processes that will be sent the signal will be printed, or a message indicating that no matching processes have been found.
Use the effective user ID instead of the (default) real user ID for matching processes specified with the -u option.
Give a help on the command usage and exit.
Request confirmation before attempting to signal each process.
List the names of the available signals and exit, like in kill(1).
Match the argument procname as a (case sensitive) regular expression against the names of processes found. CAUTION! This is dangerous, a single dot will match any process running under the real UID of the caller.
Show only what would be done, but do not send any signal.
Send a different signal instead of the default TERM. The signal may be specified either as a name (with or without a leading “ SIG”), or numerically.
-j jail
Kill processes in the specified jail.
-u user
Limit potentially matching processes to those belonging to the specified user.
-t tty
Limit potentially matching processes to those running on the specified tty.
-c procname
Limit potentially matching processes to those matching the specified procname.
Suppress error message if no processes are matched.
Do not skip zombies. This should not have any effect except to print a few error messages if there are zombie processes that match the specified pattern.


Sending a signal to all processes with the given UID is already supported by kill(1). So use kill(1) for this job (e.g. “ kill -TERM -1” or as root “ echo kill -TERM -1 | su -m <user>”).


This FreeBSD implementation of killall has completely different semantics as compared to the traditional UNIX System V behavior of killall. The latter will kill all processes that the current user is able to kill, and is intended to be used by the system shutdown process only.


The killall utility exits 0 if some processes have been found and signalled successfully. Otherwise, a status of 1 will be returned.


Diagnostic messages will only be printed if requested by -d options.


The killall command appeared in FreeBSD 2.1. It has been modeled after the killall command as available on other platforms.


The killall program was originally written in Perl and was contributed by Wolfram Schneider, this manual page has been written by Jörg Wunsch. The current version of killall was rewritten in C by Peter Wemm using sysctl(3).
June 30, 2013 FreeBSD