How to Run a Command with Time Limit (Timeout) In Linux

How to Run a Command with Time Limit (Timeout) In Linux


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Linux comes with a bounty of commands, every command distinctive and utilized in particular instances. The aim of Linux is that will help you be as quick and environment friendly as attainable. One property of a Linux command is the time restrict. You'll be able to set a time restrict for any command you need. If the time expires, the command stops executing.

On this brief tutorial, you will study two strategies on how you should use a time restrict in your instructions.

Run Linux Instructions Utilizing the timeout Device

Linux has a command-line utility referred to as a timeout, which lets you execute a command with a time restrict.

Its syntax is as follows.


To make use of the command, you specify a timeout worth (in seconds) with the command you need to run. For example, to timeout a ping command after 5 seconds, you'll be able to run the next command.

# timeout 5s ping

You would not have to specify the (s) after quantity 5. The command under is identical and can nonetheless work.

# timeout 5 ping

Timeout Ping Command in Linux

Timeout Ping Command in Linux

Different suffixes embrace:

  • m representing minutes
  • h representing hours
  • d representing days

Typically instructions might proceed to run even after timeout sends the preliminary sign. In such situations, you need to use the --kill-after choice.

Right here’s the syntax.

-k, --kill-after=DURATION

It's essential specify a period to let timeout know after how a lot time the kill sign is to be despatched.

For instance, the command proven goes to be terminated after eight seconds.

# timeout 8s tail -f /var/log/syslog

Set Time Limit to Linux Commands

Set Time Restrict to Linux Instructions

Run Linux Instructions Utilizing Timelimit Program

The Timelimit program runs a given command then terminates the method after a specified time utilizing a given sign. It initially passes a warning sign, after which after a timeout, it sends the kill sign.

In contrast to the timeout choice, Timelimit has extra choices similar to killsig, warnsig, killtime, and warntime.

Timelimit could be discovered within the repositories of Debian-based methods and to put in it, use the next command.

$ sudo apt set up timelimit

For Arch-based methods, you'll be able to set up it utilizing AUR helper packages e.g., Pacaur Pacman, and Packer.

# Pacman -S timelimit
# pacaur -S timelimit
# packer -S timelimit

Different Linux distributions, you possibly can download timelimit source and manually set up it.

After set up, run the next command and specify the time. On this instance, you need to use 10 seconds.

$ timelimit -t10 tail -f /var/log/pacman.log

Word that in case you don’t specify arguments, Timelimit makes use of the default values: warntime=3600 seconds, warnsig=15, killtime=120, and killsig=9.


On this information, you've got discovered methods to run instructions with a time restrict in Linux. In evaluate, you should use the Timeout command or the Timelimit utility.

The Timeout command is straightforward to make use of, however the Timelimit utility is a bit difficult however has extra choices. You possibly can select the most suitable choice relying in your wants.