jobs

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This article is about the terminal command jobs. You may be looking for Steve Jobs

jobs is a Terminal command used to view the currently running background processes in the given shell. This tool, and it's related commands, provide a very handy way to manage large operations (such as compressing a large file) without taking over the shell.

Contents

Controlling Jobs

There are a few commands used in controlling jobs in the shell.

Starting a Background Job

Time-intensive commands are sent to the background by postfixing the command with an ampersand(&). Jobs are sequentially numbered starting with 1.

Pausing a Foreground Job

Currently executing, non-background, tasks may be paused and sent to the background. Type ctrl-Z and the running process will pause, and be assigned a background job ID. To unpause, use the command fg.

Sending a Foreground Job to the Background

Type ctrl-Z to pause the job. Type bg to send it to the background.

Bringing a Background Job to the Foreground

Get a list of jobs with the jobs command. To bring a particular job to the foreground, type fg %1, where "1" in this example is the job ID, which is displayed in brackets.

Examples

To compress a large file in the background, an

 gzip /Users/markyoung/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music\ Library.xml &
 jobs

Backgrounding a running job

 gzip /Users/markyoung/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music\ Library.xml 
 <ctrl-Z>
 bg %1
 jobs

Stopping a background job whose job ID (not process iD) is 1.

 jobs
 kill %1

Bringing a background job to the foreground

 gzip /Users/markyoung/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music\ Library.xml &
 jobs
 fg %1