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Re: Question about kill(1)

Roberto C. Sanchez wrote:
> I was reading the kill man page today looking for some information for a
> script I am writing.  The man page mentioned that some shells have a
> kill built-in command.  On further investigation, I noticed that bash
> has this as a built-in.
> My questions are:
> * should I explicitly call /bin/kill?

No.  Just call it 'kill' as you would normally.  In general you should
avoid hard coding paths like this unless you have a specific reason.
And even then you should not use hard coded paths. :-)

> * is there any advantage to avoiding the built-in?

No.  The man page is pointing this out because when people go to
report a bug in 'kill' they read man page and report it to procps or
coreutils or wherever.  The maintainer there says you are not using
the standalone kill but rather the one in bash (or ash or ...) and so
then you back up and report the bug to bug-bash.

Now that you know there is a shell built-in version by reading it in
the man page you can isolate the bug to the right package before
submitting an inquiry on it to the wrong one.  (This is usually my
experience with kill, sleep, nice, test, etc. in coreutils.  It is now
one of the FAQs in coreutils[1].)

> * why the different implementations?

It is there for BSD job control functionality.  That way you can say
'kill %1' and kill the background jobs by job control number.  The
standalone version does not know about the shell's list of jobs.


[1] http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/faq/coreutils-faq.html#I-am-having-a-problem-with-kill

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