fg - Linux


The fg command in Linux is used to move a job that is running in the background to the foreground. It is a crucial tool for managing multitasking in the shell environment. This command is especially useful when you need to interact with a process directly or terminate it using keyboard inputs.


The basic usage of the fg command is as follows:

fg [options] [%job_spec]
  • %job_spec is optional and refers to the job specification; if omitted, the default is the current job.


The fg command typically does not have many options. However, its behavior can be altered slightly using job control notation:

  • %job_id: Refers to the job which you want to bring to the foreground. Jobs can be referenced by their relative number in the jobs table, which can be displayed using the jobs command.


  1. Bringing the Most Recent Background Job to the Foreground:


    This command will bring the most recently backgrounded job to the foreground.

  2. Specifying a Job with Its Job ID:

    fg %1

    This will bring the job with job ID 1 to the foreground. Each job can be referred to by using % followed by its job number.

  3. Foregrounding a Stopped Job:
    Sometimes a job is stopped and runs in the background:

    fg %2

    The jobs command lists all jobs and %2 brings the second job in the list to the foreground.

Common Issues

Problem: Not knowing the job id when using fg.
Solution: Always use jobs to list all jobs before using fg to ensure you reference the correct job.

Problem: Trying to foreground a non-existent job.
Solution: Use accurate job IDs as incorrect IDs will throw an error. Double-check with jobs.


The fg command is often used with other shell job control commands:

  • bg: to move jobs to the background
  • jobs: to list current jobs
  • Ctrl+Z: to stop (pause) a job and put it in the background

Example Script:
Here’s how to combine it in a script:

# Start a process
your_command &
# Background latest job
# Use sleep as an arbitrary placeholder
sleep 60
# Now bring the job back to the foreground
  • bg: Used to resume suspended jobs without bringing them to the foreground.
  • jobs: Lists all jobs associated with the current terminal session.
  • kill: Send signals to jobs, commonly used to terminate a background job.

For more detailed information, refer to the Bash manual page by typing man bash in your terminal and searching for “JOB CONTROL”. This will give in-depth details regarding job management in the Bash shell.