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Using signal.alarm() for a timeout

The Python signal module let’s you setup Unix signals, including SIGALRM. This can be used to setup a timeout :

import signal

def handler(signum, frame):
print 'received', signum

# Setup the handler
signal.signal(signal.SIGALRM, handler)

# Trigger the alarm after 60 seconds

This prints ‘received 14’ after 60 seconds.