So I’m trying to learn d3, and the wiki suggested that

To view the examples locally, you must have a local web server. Any
web server will work; for example you can run Python’s built-in

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8888 &

Great… only now I have a server running… but at some point I think I should probably shut that down again.

Is there a better way of shutting it down than using kill <pid>? That seems like kind of a big hammer for a little job.

(I’m running Mac OS 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard))

FWIW: ctrl+c gives about 10 lines of traceback, complaining about being interrupted.

kill -3 <pid> gives a Finder warning in a separate window ‘Python quit unexpectedly’.

The default kill <pid> and kill -15 <pid> are relatively clean (and simple).

You are simply sending signals to the processes. kill is a command to send those signals.

The keyboard command Ctrl+C sends a SIGINT, kill -9 sends a SIGKILL, and kill -15 sends a SIGTERM.

What signal do you want to send to your server to end it?

if you have started the server with

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8888 

then you can press ctrl + c to down the server.

But if you have started the server with

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8888 &


python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8888 & disown

you have to see the list first to kill the process,

run command



ps aux | less

it will show you some running process like this ..

7247 pts/3     00:00:00 python
7360 pts/3     00:00:00 ps
23606 pts/3    00:00:00 bash

you can get the PID from here. and kill that process by running this command..

kill -9 7247

here 7247 is the python id.

Also for some reason if the port still open you can shut down the port with this command

fuser -k 8888/tcp

here 8888 is the tcp port opened by python.

Hope its clear now.

kill -9 `ps -ef |grep SimpleHTTPServer |grep $MYPORT |awk '{print $2}'`

That is it!

Explain command line :

  • ps -ef : list all process.

  • grep SimpleHTTPServer : filter process which belong to “SimpleHTTPServer”

  • grep $MYPORT : filter again process belong to “SimpleHTTPServer” where port is MYPORT (.i.e: MYPORT=8888)

  • awk '{print $2}' : print second column of result which is the PID (Process ID)

  • kill -9 <PID> : Force Kill process with the appropriate PID.

or you can just do kill %1, which will kill the first job put in background

Turns out there is a shutdown, but this must be initiated from another thread.

This solution worked for me:

When you run a program as a background process (by adding an & after it), e.g.:

python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8888 &

If the terminal window is still open you can do:


To get a list of all background jobs within the running shell’s process.

It could look like this:

$ jobs
[1]+  Running                 python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8888 &

To kill a job, you can either do kill %1 to kill job “[1]”, or do fg %1 to put the job in the foreground (fg) and then use ctrl-c to kill it. (Simply entering fg will put the last backgrounded process in the foreground).

With respect to SimpleHTTPServer it seems kill %1 is better than fg + ctrl-c. At least it doesn’t protest with the kill command.

The above has been tested in Mac OS, but as far as I can remember it works just the same in Linux.

Update: For this to work, the web server must be started directly from the command line (verbatim the first code snippet). Using a script to start it will put the process out of reach of jobs.

It seems like overkill but you can use supervisor to start and stop your simpleHttpserver, and completely manage it as a service.

Or just run it in the foreground as suggested and kill it with CtrlC.

Hitting CtrlC once(wait for traceback), then hitting CtrlC again did the trick for me 🙂

Here is another solution.

Suppose You have started the server using this command –

python3 -m http.server 7800

To kill that process use –

pkill -9 -f  'python3 -m http.server 7800

That’s it.