Bash scripting, traps and sleep

Today I ran into any old problem: you have a script that should do something when it recieves a signal (e.g. if someone sends it USR1 it should write to a log/syslog), but the script uses a long sleep because it normally only checks/calculates stuff every x min. If you send it a kill -USR1 $pid it will normally execute the trap AFTER the sleep is done, not so great. I figured of the following solution today: put the sleep in a while loop that checks if the full time was slept, and inside the loop a sleep that sleeps the X seconds remaing in the background followed by a wait.

If the script now recieves a USR1 it can kill the wait, execute the trap and will continue the remaining sleep on the next iteration of the loop.


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  1. Brian
    19/10/2009 at 5:46 pm Permalink

    Thanks for the snippet. I was just banging my head against trap and sleep and this helped a lot!