Create a process with a "time to live"

Fredrik Lundh fredrik at
Fri Aug 15 20:03:10 CEST 2008

Carl J. Van Arsdall wrote:

> I want to create a process that would "expire" if it didn't complete in 
> a set amount of time.  I don't seem to see any timeout values to pass 
> os.system - does anyone know of a good way to do this?
> So far all I can think of is some kind of watchdog thread - but that 
> seems like overkill to do such a simple thing.

simple approach: use subprocess.Popen to fork off the external command, 
then sleep for a short while, check if it's done, sleep a little longer 
if it hasn't, etc.  when you've waited long enough, use os.kill to kill 
the process.

(if you want to terminate a function in your own program, you can use 
the alarm signal.  see e.g. )


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