runalarm(1) enforce a time limit on execution of a process


runalarm [ -h ]

runalarm [ -d ] [ -t timeout ] command [ args ]


runalarm tries to execute a command and, if the subprocess does not exit before a timer expires, tries to terminate that subprocess. Otherwise, the exit status of the command is returned.



Debug mode; send log messages to standard error as well as to the system log.

-t timeout

Specifies the duration, in seconds, for runalarm to allow the command to run. The default is 1d duration (86400 seconds).


Prints some basic help.


Sending SIGALRM to runalarm before the timer has expired will cause the subprocess to be killed.


runalarm was written by Jamie Wilkinson <[email protected]>, based on some Python code by Craig Silverstein


This program is copyright (C) 2000-2010 Google, Inc.

It is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0