I'm running a python script from boot on my Raspberry Pi B running Raspbian. I set the raspi-config so it is console auto logon. And I have the script that I want to run from boot into /etc/profile and I added to the very last line of that file sudo python /link/to/script.py. The script runs absolutely perfect. However, when I come to terminate it, it does not always work.

I am pressing CTRL + C and CTRL + Z to try and exit but it doesn't always work. It just prints ^C or ^Z into the terminal.

The script I am running sits in a while True loop as it is sending data from a sensor and I need it to be sending the data all of the time.

This is the script

import paho.mqtt.publish as publish
from gpiozero import DistanceSensor
import requests
import RPi.GPIO as GPIO
import signal


ultrasonic = DistanceSensor(echo=17, trigger=4, max_distance=4)
print (ultrasonic.distance)
def connection_check():
        requests.get("http://google.com", timeout=1)
        return True
        GPIO.output(21, GPIO.LOW)
        #print("CONNECTION LOST...")
    return False

while True:
    if connection_check() == True:
        GPIO.output(21, GPIO.HIGH)
        GPIO.output(20, GPIO.LOW)
        #print (ultrasonic.distance)
        distance = ultrasonic.distance
        publish.single("test/message",distance, hostname="172.18.65.XXX")

Has anyone had an issue like this and how do I get around it, sometimes it can take upwards of 10 minutes to try and terminate the script.

  • I believe @GramThanos' answer should fix your problem, but to be sure we understand the problem: what do you mean by when I come to terminate it, it does not always work? Do you just type CTRL+C and CTRL+Z into your terminal?
    – David
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 0:45

2 Answers 2


CTRL + C sends an SIGINT signal to the active program and the program you are trying to terminate is not the active program at the time.

In such cases I like to save the process id in a file and later kill the process with with that process id.

To do so, I create 2 files, a start.sh and a stop.sh. I start my script using start.sh and stop it using the stop.sh

The start.sh

echo "Starting my script..."
nohup python /link/to/script.py > /link/to/script.process.log 2>&1&
echo $! > /link/to/script.process.pid
echo "My script is now running."

The stop.sh

echo "Stopping my script..."
kill -9 `cat /link/to/script.process.pid`
echo "My script is now stopped."

If this is the only Python script you have running try

sudo killall python

or in extreme cases

sudo killall -9 python

You would need to give details of your script to know why ctrl-c sometimes works.

  • I have tried both of those commands and the script continues to run and does not exit.
    – JackU
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 7:21
  • You will need to add the script to your question.
    – joan
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 7:26
  • Just added it now.
    – JackU
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 7:39

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