How to Run a Command in the Background on Linux


On Linux, running commands in the background can be useful for tasks that take a long time to complete or for tasks that you don’t want to monitor continuously. In this guide, we will discuss the steps required to run a command in the background on Linux.

Using command line

The command line on Linux is a text-based interface used to interact with the operating system and run commands. It is also known as the shell, terminal, or console. Instead of using a graphical user interface (GUI) to interact with the system, users can use the command line to type in commands and receive text-based output.

The command line interface (CLI) provides direct access to the operating system and allows users to perform a wide range of tasks, such as navigating the file system, installing and managing software, configuring system settings, and running scripts or programs.

Step 1: Open Terminal

First, open the terminal. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard or by searching for the terminal in your application launcher.

Step 2: Run Command

Next, run the command that you want to run in the background. For example, let’s say you want to run a command that will backup your files:

rsync -a /home/user/Documents /backup

To run this command in the background, simply add an ampersand (&) at the end of the command:

rsync -a /home/user/Documents /backup &

Step 3: Check Command Status

To check the status of the command, run:


This command will display a list of all the commands running in the background.

Step 4: Bring Command to Foreground

If you need to bring the command back to the foreground, you can use the fg command. For example:

fg %1

This command will bring the first command in the list to the foreground.

Step 5: Stop or Kill Command

If you need to stop or kill the command running in the background, you can use the kill command. For example, to stop the first command in the list, run:

kill %1

This command will stop the command running in the background.


Running commands in the background on Linux can be a useful way to perform tasks that take a long time to complete or for tasks that you don’t want to monitor continuously. By following these steps, you can easily run commands in the background on Linux and check their status or bring them back to the foreground when needed.

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