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Re: ctrl-c does not send INT to all processes under foreground job

From: Chet Ramey
Subject: Re: ctrl-c does not send INT to all processes under foreground job
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 09:51:06 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.8; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.2.0

On 3/19/14 12:07 AM, Ryan Ruan wrote:
> Hello, guys:
> It is said that "ctrl-C sends INT to ALL processes under foreground job", but 
> i found a weird phenomenon.
> I have not read source code yet, but it does not seem to ascribe to what 
> specification says.
> Test code is like:
> 1              trap "echo hello world $1" 2
> 2              sleep 10000
> 3              /bin/bash $0 $(( $1 + 1 ))
> 4              echo "$1 go to sleep"
> 5              sleep 1000
> 6              echo "$1 exit "
> When I run ./test.sh on the console, the process (/bin/bash test.sh) is stuck 
> at line 2.
> Then I input Ctrl-C, the result is that the code is interrupted at line 2 and 
> goes to execute line 3, thus generate a new process (/bin/bash test.sh 1).
> At the same time, the first process (/bin/bash test.sh) is stuck at line 3 
> waiting for process '/bin/bash test.sh 1' to finish.
> At this time, I input Ctrl-C again, and generate process '/bin/bash test.sh 
> 2', and i think process '/bin/bash test.sh 1' SHOULD BE SENT  signal INT now. 
> So I kill process '/bin/bash test.sh 2' by doing 'kill -9 <pid>'.
> What amazes me is that process '/bin/bash test.sh 1' did not trap INT this 
> time, because "hello world 1" is not printed out. So it seems the process did 
> not receive INT before.
> How can this be? Is it a bug?

This is another instance of the question "what does bash do with a SIGINT
it receives while waiting for a foreground process?"  The answer is that it
allows the child to decide what to do and responds accordingly: if the
child exits due to being killed by the SIGINT, bash acts as if it received
the SIGINT; if the child decides to trap it, do something else and not
resend the SIGINT to itself, bash will effectively discard it.  In any
case, bash doesn't do anything until the child exits.

There is a fairly long explanation of the issue at

This has come up in several past discussions on bug-bash, some quite heated
(especially the first link below, which involved Linus Torvalds
and several Linux kernel developers):


``The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.'' - Chaucer
                 ``Ars longa, vita brevis'' - Hippocrates
Chet Ramey, ITS, CWRU    address@hidden    http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/~chet/

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