I need to kill a few Python processes. I can get a list of the process numbers using pgrep python, but how can I kill them all at once instead of killing one by one?

I'm looking for something like:

pgrep python | kill process_nos
  • 2
    man killall...
    – Alex P.
    Apr 16, 2014 at 23:57
  • Besides possibly being a snide remark, "man killall" is not a correct answer. How would killall work with a Python script launched using "python /foo.py"? How about if that python cron were launched from a cron which first invokes a wrapper script? Mar 2, 2016 at 16:33

5 Answers 5


You can try:

pgrep python | xargs kill
  • 1
    Why would you invoke THREE processes when one suffices?
    – tink
    Apr 17, 2014 at 9:23
  • 1
    For one process it would be kill $(pgrep name) Feb 8, 2015 at 17:56
  • 1
    No, "kill $(pgrep name)" is still two processes and a shell. For one process, use pkill (as pointed out by @tink: superuser.com/a/742741)
    – vog
    Apr 24, 2018 at 7:41
pkill python

Short and sweet, man pkill for details.

  • I found that pkill python does not always work, in cases where kill PID neither works. But pgrep python | xargs kill -9 does. Can pkill do the equivalent?
    – Jeppe
    Nov 17, 2019 at 12:29
  • 3
    Absolutely ... pkill -9 <...>
    – tink
    Nov 17, 2019 at 16:44
  • 1
    Bare in mind that it the process is stuck on e.g. broken I/O that, too, may not work. But in those cases only a reboot will ...
    – tink
    Nov 17, 2019 at 16:45

@tink has the correct answer, but I wanted to add that you want to make sure you are using the correct format for your machine. If you are using a Linux machine, pkill python is correct, but if you are using a Mac terminal, you will want to use pkill Python. So the most correct answer would be this:

pkill <process_name>

where <process_name> is the case-sensitive name of the process to kill.

Note: I understand that the tags for this question were related to Ubuntu Linux, but I wanted to clarify this for anyone that has a different machine but had this exact question (like myself).


If pkill is a bit too radical for your tastes and you prefer to select which entries of the pgrep listing you want to kill, you can have a look at ezkill <https://github.com/Kraymer/ezkill> that i wrote.


Simply just run -

sudo kill -9 `pgrep python`

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.