A coworker was doing some work on a server we’re building up, and wanted to kill a bunch of processes. The killall binary wasn’t installed for some reason (default etch install, probably just missing the package), but he found a killall5 binary instead.
For those of you who don’t know, killall5 is the SysV version of killall. It’s quite a bit more literal about it’s functionality than the killall most of us are used to – it will, without taking any command line arguments, prompting if you are sure, or any indication of what is about to happen, send a kill signal to all processes.
I was in the middle of saying “Don’t run that” when my coworker did. Oops. Good thing we were still building the server and it was on the build desk next to him.
This got me thinking though. Are there any other command line tools that are similarly dangerous as killall5? That is, they will do something terminal to your system, without prompting for help or confirmation?