Shell Scripts in Waiting: the Waitmax Tool

Mar 17, 2008

Linux consultant Matthias Kettner has just released Version 1.0 of his Waitmax Software. It gives programs a specified time to complete after terminating them.

Waitmax is designed for use in shell scripts. The tool launches another program in a new process and then waits for a configurable period. If the process has not completed by then, Waitmax sends a "TERM" signal to it. The "-s" command line parameter gives users the ability to send other signals.

In the provides a practical example. The following command uses scp to copy a large file. If the process takes longer than an hour, it is killed:

waitmax 3600 scp bigfile.tar.gz somehost:/tmpWaitmax is released under the GPLv2 and can be downloaded from the author’ homepage here. Both the source code and a statically linked RPM package are available.

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