I have a bash script I use to run XCode on OS X, which takes several minutes. I can't find the key command to stop it if I realize an error... on DOS I'm used to Ctrl+C/Ctrl+Z but neither seem to work. What am I looking for (on the standard OS X terminal)?

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    ctrl C should send sig-term (this signal can be trapped), and ctrl z send sig stop (both (all) key sequences can be blocked.) You need to set keyboard focus to terminal first. (this comment is for any generic Unix system) – ctrl-alt-delor Sep 30 '12 at 19:40
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    @richard Ctrl-C sends SIGINT, not SIGTERM. SIGINT should terminate the process – Rich Homolka Oct 1 '12 at 18:27
  • @ctrl-alt-delor Ctrl+Z sends SIGTSTP (which can be caught), not SIGSTOP (which cannot be caught). – Josh Correia Jan 30 '20 at 20:16

There are a few keypresses that should help you here.

Ctrl+C should send the foreground process SIGINT, and that should terminate the process unless you trap the signal with something like trap INT ... in your shell code.

Ctrl+Z should send SIGSTOP, which would pause your process, again unless you trap your signals.

The mapping of key sequences jumps through some hoops, including terminal settings. What does stty -a say on your computer? Look in the output for intr, that's the keypress that should trigger SIGINT. If nothing is set, you need to set it, something like stty intr ^C

As others have said, you can kill the process from another window as well.


If Ctrl + C isn't working for you, you can open a new Terminal tab and type

killall [process name]

where [process name] is the name of your bash script (you can find this in OS X's Activity Monitor).


You can try these solutions :

  • try this keyboard combo : Ctrl+AltGr+8
  • open a new terminal and run pkill -f script_name
  • These are not applicable to OS X. – Gordon Davisson Sep 30 '12 at 20:49

To add on to what other users have said, you can also use Ctrl+\ which sends SIGQUIT and is the same as SIGINT except it also produces a core dump. I've found that programs which ignore SIGINT often do not ignore SIGQUIT.

Based on the man-page for kill, you are also able to send a SIGTERM or SIGKILL to any process. You would accomplish this by finding your process in the process table (type ps) and then type kill -15 [pid] to send a SIGTERM or kill -9 [pid] to send a SIGKILL (SIGKILL can't be ignored and will kill the process no matter what).

Source 1 and Source 2

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