Source ยป

DEADMAN(1) General Commands Manual DEADMAN(1)


software deadman's switch


deadman time cmd [
arg ...


deadman is a software deadman's switch. It sits as a sleeping daemon, then runs a command at the specified time.
Stop the switch by sending the SIGKILL signal, since deadman ignores all possible signals and SIGKILL cannot be ignored.
Time is in UTC, parsed in the format “YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss” similar to ISO 8601. For example “2019-08-05T15:35:00”.
Command must be an absolute path starting with ‘/’.


While deadman tries to position itself to avoid interruption by the system, it does not go to the extent that some malware does, like modifying the system to avoid detection.
Be aware that:
  • On Linux, if /proc is not mounted with “hidepid=2” unprivileged users may see the time and command deadman will run.
  • If the OS does not have DoS limits in place, it could be possible for other processes to consume all system resources and deadman would be unable to execute the command. In such a scenario, the OS may automatically kill deadman to reappropriate resources.
  • When the system loses power deadman will be killed with everything else.
  • Users such as root or those in the wheel group may kill or alter deadman's execution.


deadman was written by Esote.


Copyright (c) 2019 Esote. There is NO warranty. You may redistribute this software under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License. For more information, see the LICENSE file.
December 29, 2019