Many operating systems allow signals to be sent to running processes. Some signals have a defined effect on the process, while others may be trapped at the code level and acted upon. For example, your process may trap the USR1 signal and use it to toggle debugging, and may use TERM to initiate a controlled shutdown.
pid = fork do Signal.trap("USR1") do $debug = !$debug puts "Debug now: #$debug" end Signal.trap("TERM") do puts "Terminating..." shutdown() end # . . . do some work . . . end Process.detach(pid) # Controlling program: Process.kill("USR1", pid) # ... Process.kill("USR1", pid) # ... Process.kill("TERM", pid)
Debug now: true Debug now: false Terminating...