Timeout command on Mac OS X?


Question or issue on macOS:

Is there an alternative for the timeout command on Mac OSx. The basic requirement is I am able to run a command for a specified amount of time.


timeout 10 ping google.com

This program runs ping for 10s on Linux.

How to solve this problem?

Solution no. 1:

You can use

brew install coreutils

And then whenever you need timeout, use


..instead. To explain why here’s a snippet from the Homebrew Caveats section:

All commands have been installed with the prefix ‘g’.
If you really need to use these commands with their normal names, you
can add a “gnubin” directory to your PATH from your bashrc like:

Additionally, you can access their man pages with normal names if you add
the “gnuman” directory to your MANPATH from your bashrc as well:

Solution no. 2:

Another simple approach that works pretty much cross platform (because it uses perl which is nearly everywhere) is this:

function timeout() { perl -e 'alarm shift; exec @ARGV' "[email protected]"; } 

Snagged from here:

Instead of putting it in a function, you can just put the following line in a script, and it’ll work too:

perl -e 'alarm shift; exec @ARGV' "[email protected]"; 

or a version that has built in help/examples:

#!/usr/bin/env bash function show_help() { IT=$(cat < /dev/null ; echo \$? 142 # Will succeed, and return exit code of 0. $ timeout 1 sleep 0.5; echo \$? 0 $ timeout 1 bash -c 'echo "hi" && sleep 2 && echo "bye"' 2> /dev/null; echo \$? hi 142 $ timeout 3 bash -c 'echo "hi" && sleep 2 && echo "bye"' 2> /dev/null; echo \$? hi bye 0 EOF ) echo "$IT" exit } if [ "$1" == "help" ] then show_help fi if [ -z "$1" ] then show_help fi # # Mac OS-X does not come with the delightfully useful `timeout` program. Thankfully a rough BASH equivalent can be achieved with only 2 perl statements. # # Originally found on SO: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/601543/command-line-command-to-auto-kill-a-command-after-a-certain-amount-of-time # perl -e 'alarm shift; exec @ARGV' "[email protected]"; 

Solution no. 3:

You can limit execution time of any program using this command:

ping -t 10 google.com & sleep 5; kill $! 

Solution no. 4:

The Timeout Package from Ubuntu / Debian can be made to compile on Mac and it works.
The package is available at http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/timeout

Solution no. 5:

You can do ping -t 10 google.com >nul

the >nul gets rid of the output. So instead of showing 64 BYTES FROM BLAH BLAH BLAH it’ll just show a blank newline until it times out. -t flag can be changed to any number.

Hope this helps!