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Archive for February 16th, 2009

One instance at a time with PID file in Bash

February 16th, 2009 6 comments

Often times, I only want a script to run one instance at a time. For example, if the the script is copying files, or rsync’ing between systems, it can be disastrous to have two instances running concurrently, and this situation is definitely possible if you run the script from cron.

I figured out a simple way to make sure only one instance runs at a time, and it has the added benefit that if the script dies midway through, another instance will start – a drawback of just using lock files without a pid.

Without further ado, here’s my script:

#!/bin/bash
pidfile=/var/run/sync.pid
if [ -e $pidfile ]; then
    pid=`cat $pidfile`
    if kill -0 &>1 > /dev/null $pid; then
        echo "Already running"
        exit 1
    else
        rm $pidfile
    fi
fi
echo $$ > $pidfile
 
#do your thing here
 
rm $pidfile
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