When running a program that goes into an infinite loop in the terminal, how would I bring back the command prompt?

(I'm using Fedora core 5)

  • Fedora 5? As in "five"???
    – balpha
    Commented Jan 13, 2010 at 15:28

8 Answers 8


You could send a SIGHUP (Ctrl-Z) or SIGTERM (Ctrl-C). The former merely pauses the program, you may resume with fg (or resume as a background process, using bg).

  • 2
    If Ctrl-C doesn't work, you can try the lesser-known Ctrl-\ which sends SIGQUIT.
    – a3nm
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 13:09

You'll have to kill the program using Ctrl + C where C stands for Cancel.


Either Ctrl-C as mentioned, or if that should not work, open another terminal, find the process using ps -ef|grep , find the process ID (pid), and use the kill command: kill -9


Launch the program with & at the end to cause it run in the background. Note that if you exit the terminal, the application might/will stop as well.

root@root:~$ run_app with params &

Using Ctrl+C will kill it if you forgot the &.


There is no way to prove that any arbitrary program will ever end without actually running it to the end.

Having said that, it is possible to set up a watchdog via e.g. D-Bus that can kill a program if a response is not received within a given amount of time.


As mentioned, you can simply add a & to the command line. You can also hit CTRL-Z (this puts the process in the Stopped state), and then type bg to get it running in the background again...


You can press Ctrl + C.


you can press ctrl + z type: ps ux ,to see the running process, if the one you want to kill is there

type: kill -9 processId , where the process id is the loop process id

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