GPKILL Utility

It happens–sometimes there‟s an issue with Greenplum Database and it seems that your best option is to kill the Greenplum Database process. Using „kill -9‟ or „kill -11‟ can kill critical Greenplum processes and leave the database in an unstable state, even bringing your clusters down.

There is a better way. Release 4.2.1 of Greenplum Database provides the gpkill utility to protect you from accidentally killing key Greenplum Database processes. Depending on your specific Greenplum Database installation process, the kill utility can be aliased to the gpkill utility, which redirects the kill command‟s default path to gpkill. If you attempt to use the „kill‟ command to kill a critical process such as postmaster, gpkill displays an error message and asks you to contact EMC Support. So even if you accidentally run the kill command on a 

gpkill-enabled host, you can‟t hurt anything.


Checks or terminates a Greenplum Database process. Users other than the superuser can only use gpkill to terminate their own processes.


gpkill [options] pid

gpkill --version

gpkill -? | -h | --help


This utility checks or terminates a Greenplum process. If the process is a critical Greenplum Database process or a system process that is not part of Greenplum, gpkill does not terminate it.

After gpkill verifies that the specified process can be terminated safely, it prompts for confirmation. Prior to terminating a process, gpkill attempts to capture troubleshooting information, if the user has appropriate operating system priviliges.

1. The troubleshooting information is captured, even if the user does not confirm killing the process.

2. Failure to capture troubleshooting information does not stop gpkill from proceeding.



The process ID to check or terminate.


Checks the specified process ID to verify that it is a Greenplum process and can safely be killed, but does not terminate it.


Displays verbose debugging information.


Enables quiet mode. Informational messages are suppressed.

NOTE: Choosing both the -v and -q options sends the verbose debugging information to the system log, but does not display informational messages on stdout.


? | -h | --help (help)

Displays the online help.


Kill process 27893

gpkill 27893

Check process 27893 to see if it can be killed. Send debugging information to the system log, but do not display informational messages.

gpkill -q -v --check 27893