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I have often a situation in Linux shell scripts that if a specific command takes too long to run e.g. due to a network problem the shell script should abort running this command.

What best practices there exist to run timeoutting commands in a shell script? E.g. run commands through some kind of monitoring command with certain maximum running time given as seconds?

what I am looking for is to have something like "timeout -s 300 'this command line'"

Cron solutions are out of the question and not accetable answers.

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There is a package called timeout, debian based sudo apt-get install timeout. The issue there is that the command only has the allotted time to run, so if you are ssh'ing and do timeout 300 ssh example@example.com, the task is killed after 300 seconds. That being said, there was a similar question on StackOverflow with a script implementation here that might do it. – nerdwaller Nov 26 '12 at 16:16
    
Hi @nerdwaller: Is it possible to promote your comment to an answer? – Mikko Ohtamaa Dec 7 '12 at 6:54
    
There you go, it worked for you? – nerdwaller Dec 7 '12 at 14:09
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is a package called timeout, debian based sudo apt-get install timeout. The issue there is that the command only has the allotted time to run, so if you are ssh'ing and do timeout 300 ssh example@example.com, the task is killed after 300 seconds. That being said, there was a similar question on StackOverflow with a script implementation here that might do it.

Though I tried this yesterday again and it was fine, so it .any depend on what command follows it.

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Kiitoksia! :) Also available as standalone downhere bashcookbook.com/bashinfo/source/bash-4.0/examples/scripts/… (works on OSX too) and here is some of my notes about using this command opensourcehacker.com/2012/12/07/… – Mikko Ohtamaa Dec 7 '12 at 19:19

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