25.1 sleep: Delay for a specified time

sleep pauses for an amount of time specified by the sum of the values of the command line arguments. Synopsis:

sleep number[smhd]…

Each argument is a non-negative number followed by an optional unit; the default is seconds. The units are:









Although portable POSIX scripts must give sleep a single non-negative integer argument without a suffix, GNU sleep also accepts two or more arguments, unit suffixes, and floating-point numbers in either the current or the C locale. See Floating point numbers.

For instance, the following could be used to sleep for 1 second, 234 milli-, 567 micro- and 890 nanoseconds:

sleep 1234e-3 567.89e-6

Also one could sleep indefinitely like:

sleep inf

The only options are --help and --version. See Common options.

Due to shell aliases and built-in sleep functions, using an unadorned sleep interactively or in a script may get you different functionality than that described here. Invoke it via env (i.e., env sleep …) to avoid interference from the shell.

An exit status of zero indicates success, and a nonzero value indicates failure.