I mostly use terminal for installation of programs (as does mostly everybody). However, at times (particularly when I have low battery and no charger wire OR more importantly, when installer file is too big, installation is incomplete and I need to power down my system) I would like to pause the installation (while it is in downloading state) so that I won't loose already downloaded files.

How do I do this?

  • Wouldn't it be simpler not to start a long installation when the battery is low? I thought "everybody" new about that. Nov 19, 2012 at 12:11
  • I start installation with considerable battery (mostly >90%). But I have a slow bandwidth connection and a power saving problem. I get max 25 kB/s on downloads (sometimes 30 kB/s at night). Also focus is on the second condition as that is more frequently occurring.
    – VedVals
    Nov 19, 2012 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


Ctrl+c cancels it but next time start from where you left Ctrl+z stops process but then you can't do another process as it remains locked to the first process

Using one of the above methods is generally better than just closing the terminal, but if you just close the terminal while it's downloading packages, it should start the download right where it stopped next time you run sudo apt-get upgrade

If you want to restart the download after using Ctrl+z:

  1. Check paused tasks by typing jobs in the terminal
  2. To resume a process, type fg
  3. If you have multiple tasks, then type fg 1, fg 2, etc…

Make sure, however, that you never stop it while it's installing the downloaded packages, since this will result in a lock on apt-get, which will require a computer restart or reconfiguration of apt, and you'll have to start at the beginning of the installation. So make sure to only "pause" (close) the terminal when it's downloading, not installing.

If you would like to start another apt-get process - after pausing the first process, run sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/lock && sudo rm /var/cache/apt/archives/lock; it won't look like it did anything, but you should be able to start another apt-get process.

To kill a command that you've paused with Ctrl+z, enter kill -9 %x into the terminal, replacing x with the number that the paused process is (see jobs). The process will remain in the list, but it will say "killed" after it instead of "stopped", indicating it is no longer active.

Sources : [ubuntu] How to pause download operation in terminal
Accidently pressed Ctrl-Z in a Linux terminal in Ubuntu Intrepid Ipex. What do I do now? Starting, Stopping and Managing Jobs in the Ubuntu Terminal

  • Tried the answer. Now how to resume?
    – VedVals
    Nov 19, 2012 at 13:40
  • @ved2254 Just use fg, assuming you haven't started any other processes. I added it to the answer for consistency.
    – ananaso
    Nov 19, 2012 at 13:45
  • I'm not on my home computer right now, so I'll test this when I get home, but typing fg or fg 1 should "unpause" it.
    – ananaso
    Nov 19, 2012 at 14:05
  • It works. On a side note, I had to stop it as it couldn't connect to the servers. Does this tend to happen? Tried to install Ubuntu Ultimate Edition Theme Pack
    – VedVals
    Nov 19, 2012 at 14:13
  • 1
    I added the instructions to the post - sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/lock && sudo rm /var/cache/apt/archives/lock should unlock it, yet keep the old process so you can recall it later. I think it's just with that package, since I anything else I recall with fg runs like normal, without any server errors. Don't really know what else, sorry. :/ Maybe if you start a new thread someone more knowledgeable could take a look at it.
    – ananaso
    Nov 22, 2012 at 2:03

Find the answer on how I solved it here. or follow this link https://superuser.com/a/1388933/979057 . I run grep VERSION /etc/os-release VERSION="2019.1" VERSION_ID="2019.1" Linux psycho 4.18.0-kali3-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.18.20-2kali2 (2018-11-30) x86_64 GNU/Linux


If you want to pause the downloaded files from terminal, I hope you have downloading something url. Just copy it first. and enter this lines in that terminal

wget -m -P [download-url]

It can pulse the downloading files. Where as you want to resume to download or even after net is disconnected, want to resume the file. Simply run this in terminal:

wget -c -m -P [brokern url]


wget --continue [broken url]
  • 1
    a little confusing. We want apt-get, not wget Jun 2, 2015 at 14:20
  • What are you trying to pulse?
    – yainspan
    Jan 30, 2017 at 1:14

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