A brief introduction of OpenBSD nohup command

When you execute command in terminal (not background mode), if the connection disconnects unexpectedly, the running process will be terminated by SIGHUP signal. nohup command can let process still keep running when this situation occurs.

OpenBSD‘s nohup implementation is neat. It actually only does 4 things:

(1) If stdout is terminal, redirect it to nohup.out file (created in current directory or specified by HOME environment variable):

if (isatty(STDOUT_FILENO))

In dofile option:

if (dup2(fd, STDOUT_FILENO) == -1)
    err(EXIT_MISC, NULL);

(2) If stderr is terminal, redirect it to stdout. In this case, stderr and stdout will point to same file:

if (isatty(STDERR_FILENO) && dup2(STDOUT_FILENO, STDERR_FILENO) == -1) {

(3) Ignore SIGHUP signal:

(void)signal(SIGHUP, SIG_IGN);

(4) Execute the intended command:

execvp(argv[1], &argv[1]);

That’s all!

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