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Is it possible to disown a job at startup w/ out manually pausing the process? Basically the issue is, is that I'm iterating through a number of processes using a python script. I can manually disown the python script, but it's the processes within it that I'm executing that I'm worried about.

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Disowning jobs is part of what the shell does. At least in zsh (and presumable also in bash) you can have a job immediately disowned on creation by appending &! (as in e.g. xterm &!). But since you are doing this from within a Python script, things will be more difficult; I think you'll have to do the job control there yourself, or have to start the processes asynchronously or something like that.

If all you are doing is just launching a bunch of processes, in this particular case a shell script is maybe the better choice.

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