display the status of jobs in the current session 

KornShell Built-in


jobs [-lnp] [job-identifier...]


jobs produces a list of the processes in the current session. Each such process is numbered for easy identification by kill and is described by a line of information:

[job-identifier]   default   state   shell_command


is a decimal number which identifies the process. When you use the job-identifier as an argument to the commands or to jobs, preface the number with %.


identifies the default process (that is, the most recently suspended process). If default is a +, this process is the default job. If default is a -, this job becomes the default when the current default job exits. There is at most one + job and one - job.


shows a job as:

if it is not suspended and has not exited
if it exited successfully
Done(exit status) 
if it exited with a non-zero exit status
Stopped (signal
if it is suspended; signal is the signal that suspended the job


is the associated shell command which created the process.



also displays the process group ID of a job (before state).


displays jobs that have changed states and free dead jobs.


displays only the process IDs of all processes.

The -l and -p options are mutually exclusive.


Possible exit status values are:


Successful completion.


The number of job-identifiers that were not found.


POSIX.2. x/OPEN Portability Guide 4.0. Windows 7. Windows Server 2008 R2. Windows 8. Windows Server 2012. Windows 10. Windows Server 2016.

jobs is provided as a MKS KornShell built-in only.


You cannot use | to pipe output from jobs to another command and get useful results. The jobs reports the status of background jobs in the current shell; however, when you use the pipe operator, jobs is actually run in a new shell, which does not have background jobs, so it cannot report on any. You can, however, use > to redirect jobs output to a file which can then be used as an input file by another command.


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PTC MKS Toolkit for Professional Developers
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PTC Integrity


kill, ps

PTC MKS Toolkit 10.1 Documentation Build 15.