Linux / UNIX: Bash Script Sleep or Delay a Specified Amount of Time nixCraft Updated Tutorials/Posts

How do I pause for 5 seconds or 2 minutes in my bash shell script on a Linux or Unix-like systems?

You need to use the sleep command to add delay for a specified amount of time. The syntax is as follows for gnu/bash sleep command:
sleep NUMBER[SUFFIX]
Where SUFFIX may be:

  1. s for seconds (the default)
  2. m for minutes.
  3. h for hours.
  4. d for days.

Please note that the sleep command in BSD family of operating systems (such as FreeBSD) or macOS/mac OS X does NOT take any suffix arguments (m/h/d). It only takes arguments in seconds. So syntax for sleep command for Unix like system is:
sleep NUMBER

Examples

To sleep for 5 seconds, use:
sleep 5
Want to sleep for 2 minutes, use:
sleep 2m
Halt or sleep for 3 hours, use:
sleep 3h
More examples:

### To sleep for 5 days, use: ##
sleep 5d #####################################################################
# BSD/Unix/macOS implementations of sleep command have required that number 
# be an integer, and only accepted a single argument without a suffix. 
# However, GNU/Linux version of sleep command accepts arbitrary floating 
# point numbers.
##################################################################### ### To sleep for 1.5 seconds: ##
sleep 1.5 ## To sleep for .5 seconds: ###
sleep .5

The most common usage are as follows:

## run commmand1, sleep for 1 minute and finally run command2 ## 
command1 && sleep 1m && command2 ## sleep in bash for loop ##
for i in {1..10}
do do_something_here sleep 5s
done ## run while loop to display date and hostname on screen ##
while [ : ]
do clear tput cup 5 5 date tput cup 6 5 echo "Hostname : $(hostname)" sleep 1
done

Sample outputs from last while loop:

Animated gif.01: Sleep command in action
Animated gif.01: Sleep command in action

sleep Command Bash Script Example

Here is a simple example:

#!/bin/bash
echo "Hi, I'm sleeping for 5 seconds..."
sleep 5 echo "all Done."

In this example, create the lock directory. I’m using [/\\:.-] here to ensure that we don’t use the same name that we are using for the .o file. Also, base the name on the expected object file name, since that is what matters with a parallel build.

...
...
lockdir=`echo "$cofile" | sed -e 's|[/\:.-]|_|g'`.d
while true; do if mkdir "$lockdir" >/dev/null 2>&1; then break fi sleep 1
done
....
..
....

How can I pause my bash shell script for 5 second before continuing?

Use the read command:
read -p "text" -t 5
read -p "Waiting five secs for Cloudflare to clear cache...." -t 5
echo "Generating pdf file now ...."

Sample outputs:
Waiting five secs for Cloudflare to clear cache....
Generating pdf file now ....

Where,

  • -p "text" : Show the text without a trailing newline before time out.
  • -t N : Set time out to 5 seconds.

For more info see bash command man page here and here or read it by typing the following man command:
$ man bash
$ man sleep
$ help read

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

Posted by Web Monkey

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