bash: start multiple chained commands in background


I'm trying to run some commands in paralel, in background, using bash. Here's what I'm trying to do:

forloop {
  //this part is actually written in perl
  //call command sequence
  print `touch .file1.lock; cp bigfile1 /destination; rm .file1.lock;`;

The part between backticks (``) spawns a new shell and executes the commands in succession. The thing is, control to the original program returns only after the last command has been executed. I would like to execute the whole statement in background (I'm not expecting any output/return values) and I would like the loop to continue running.

The calling program (the one that has the loop) would not end until all the spawned shells finish.

I could use threads in perl to spawn different threads which call different shells, but it seems an overkill...

Can I start a shell, give it a set of commands and tell it to go to the background?

2/29/2016 10:20:34 AM

Accepted Answer

I haven't tested this but how about

print `(touch .file1.lock; cp bigfile1 /destination; rm .file1.lock;) &`;

The parentheses mean execute in a subshell but that shouldn't hurt.

10/2/2008 8:24:17 AM

Thanks Hugh, that did it:

adrianp@frost:~$ (echo "started"; sleep 15; echo "stopped")
adrianp@frost:~$ (echo "started"; sleep 15; echo "stopped") &
[1] 7101
adrianp@frost:~$ stopped

[1]+  Done                    ( echo "started"; sleep 15; echo "stopped" )

The other ideas don't work because they start each command in the background, and not the command sequence (which is important in my case!).

Thank you again!

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