ShinChven's Blog

Run Multiple Bash Tasks Asynchronously to Save Time

Shell, Bash, Background Process2022-03-01 23:17:48

I happen to have a ci job consisting of multiple tasks that requires a lot of time. If I run all the tasks synchronously, it will absolutely take a long time. So I am thinking of running them in multiple background processes to save the time. I mean to do it like Promise.all() in JavaScript.

Run Command in Background Process

To do so, I simply need to add a & symbol at the end of my command, then my command runs in background process:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
(npm install) &

Background Process Control

Processes can be controlled and awaited by using the pid:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# Run process in background
(npm install) &

# Get the pid of the latest background process

# do something else like killing the process if needed
# kill $pid

# Wait for the process to finish
wait $pid

Waiting for Multiple Processes to Finish

My ci job is to build multiple packages, so I need to wait for all the background processes to finish. To do so, I wrote this script to manage the processes:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
# Declare a variable to count failures

(cd ./package0 && npm install && npm run build) &
(cd ./package1 && npm install && npm run build) &
(cd ./package2 && npm install && npm run build) &

# Look for all pid of background processes
for job in $(jobs -p)
    # Wait for all processes to finish, if one of them fails, increase the FAIL variable
    wait "$job" || ((FAIL++))

if [ "$FAIL" == "0" ];
    echo "Building successfully finished."
    # Exit the program with error code if any of the processes failed
    echo "$FAIL build(s) failed"
    exit 1