WAIT(1)WAIT(1)NAMEwait - await process completion
/bin/jsh /bin/ksh /usr/xpg4/bin/sh
wait [% jobid...]
The shell itself executes wait, without creating a new process. If you
get the error message cannot fork,too many processes, try using the
wait command to clean up your background processes. If this doesn't
help, the system process table is probably full or you have too many
active foreground processes. There is a limit to the number of process
IDs associated with your login, and to the number the system can keep
Not all the processes of a pipeline with three or more stages are chil‐
dren of the shell, and thus cannot be waited for.
Wait for your background process whose process ID is pid and report its
termination status. If pid is omitted, all your shell's currently
active background processes are waited for and the return code is 0.
The wait utility accepts a job identifier, when Job Control is enabled
(jsh), and the argument, jobid, is preceded by a percent sign (%).
If pid is not an active process ID, the wait utility returns immedi‐
ately and the return code is 0.
Wait for your background processes.
When an asynchronous list is started by the shell, the process ID of
the last command in each element of the asynchronous list becomes known
in the current shell execution environment.
If the wait utility is invoked with no operands, it waits until all
process IDs known to the invoking shell have terminated and exit with
an exit status of 0.
If one or more pid or jobid operands are specified that represent known
process IDs (or jobids), the wait utility waits until all of them have
terminated. If one or more pid or jobid operands are specified that
represent unknown process IDs (or jobids), wait treats them as if they
were known process IDs (or jobids) that exited with exit status 127.
The exit status returned by the wait utility is the exit status of the
process requested by the last pid or jobid operand.
The known process IDs are applicable only for invocations of wait in
the current shell execution environment.
wait with no operands, waits until all jobs known to the invoking shell
have terminated. If one or more job operands are specified, wait waits
until all of them have completed. Each job can be specified as one of
number refers to a process ID.
number refers to a process group ID.
number refers to a job number
Refers to a job whose name begins with string
Refers to a job whose name contains string
Refers to the current job
Refers to the previous job
If one ore more job operands is a process id or process group id not
known by the current shell environment, wait treats each of them as if
it were a process that exited with status 127.
The following operands are supported:
The unsigned decimal integer process ID of a command, for
which the utility is to wait for the termination.
A job control job ID that identifies a background process
group to be waited for. The job control job ID notation is
applicable only for invocations of wait in the current shell
execution environment, and only on systems supporting the job
On most implementations, wait is a shell built-in. If it is called in a
subshell or separate utility execution environment, such as one of the
nohup wait ...
find . -execwait ... \;
it returns immediately because there is no known process IDs to wait
for in those environments.
Example 1 Using A Script To Identify The Termination Signal
Although the exact value used when a process is terminated by a signal
is unspecified, if it is known that a signal terminated a process, a
script can still reliably figure out which signal is using kill, as
shown by the following (/bin/ksh and /usr/xpg4/bin/sh):
kill -kill $pid
echo $pid was terminated by a SIG$(kill -l $(($?−128))) signal.
Example 2 Returning The Exit Status Of A Process
If the following sequence of commands is run in less than 31 seconds
(/bin/ksh and /usr/xpg4/bin/sh):
sleep 257 | sleep 31 &
jobs -l %%
then either of the following commands returns the exit status of the
second sleep in the pipeline:
wait <pid of sleep 31>
See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables
that affect the execution of wait: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES,
The following exit values are returned by the wait built-in in ksh93:
wait was invoked with no operands. All processes known by the
invoking process have terminated.
job is a process id or process group id that is unknown to the
current shell environment.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
│ ATTRIBUTE TYPE │ ATTRIBUTE VALUE │
│Interface Stability │ Committed │
│Standard │ See standards(5). │
SEE ALSOcsh(1), jobs(1), ksh(1), ksh93(1), sh(1), attributes(5), environ(5),
Mar 13, 2008 WAIT(1)