PS (1) | General commands | Unix Manual Pages | :man▋
ps - process status
ps [-aCcefHhjlmrSTuvwXxZ] [-O fmt |-o fmt] [-G gid [,gid ...]] [-M core] [-N system] [-p pid [,pid ...]] [-t tty [,tty ...]] [-U user [,user ...]] ps [-L]
The ps utility displays a header line, followed by lines containing information about all of your processes that have controlling terminals.
A different set of processes can be selected for display by using any combination of the -a -, -G -, -p -, -T -, -t , and -U options. If more than one of these options are given, then ps will select all processes which are matched by at least one of the given options.
For the processes which have been selected for display, ps will usually display one line per process. The -H option may result in multiple output lines (one line per thread) for some processes. By default all of these output lines are sorted first by controlling terminal, then by process ID. The -m -, -r -, -u , and -v options will change the sort order. If more than one sorting option was given, then the selected processes will be sorted by the last sorting option which was specified.
For the processes which have been selected for display, the information to display is selected based on a set of keywords (see the -L -, -O , and -o options). The default output format includes, for each process, the process ID, controlling terminal, CPU time (including both user and system time), state, and associated command.
The process file system (see procfs(5)) should be mounted when ps is executed, otherwise not all information will be available.
The options are as follows:
|-a || Display information about other users processes as well as your own. This will skip any processes which do not have a controlling terminal, unless the -x option is also specified. This can be disabled by setting the security.bsd.see_other_uids sysctl to zero. |
|-c || Change the "command" column output to just contain the executable name, rather than the full command line. |
|-C || Change the way the CPU percentage is calculated by using a "raw" CPU calculation that ignores "resident" time (this normally has no effect). |
|-e || Display the environment as well. |
|-f || Show commandline and environment information about swapped out processes. This option is honored only if the UID of the user is 0. |
|-G || Display information about processes which are running with the specified real group IDs. |
|-H || Show all of the kernel visible threads associated with each process. Depending on the threading package that is in use, this may show only the process, only the kernel scheduled entities, or all of the process threads. |
|-h || Repeat the information header as often as necessary to guarantee one header per page of information. |
|-j || Print information associated with the following keywords: user, pid, ppid, pgid, sid, jobc, state, tt, time, and command. |
|-L || List the set of keywords available for the -O and -o options. |
|-l || Display information associated with the following keywords: uid, pid, ppid, cpu, pri, nice, vsz, rss, mwchan, state, tt, time, and command. |
|-M || Extract values associated with the name list from the specified core instead of the currently running system. |
|-m || Sort by memory usage, instead of the combination of controlling terminal and process ID. |
|-N || Extract the name list from the specified system instead of the default, which is the kernel image the system has booted from. |
|-O || Add the information associated with the space or comma separated list of keywords specified, after the process ID, in the default information display. Keywords may be appended with an equals (=) sign and a string. This causes the printed header to use the specified string instead of the standard header. |
|-o || Display information associated with the space or comma separated list of keywords specified. Multiple keywords may also be given in the form of more than one -o option. Keywords may be appended with an equals (=) sign and a string. This causes the printed header to use the specified string instead of the standard header. If all keywords have empty header texts, no header line is written. |
|-p || Display information about processes which match the specified process IDs. |
|-r || Sort by current CPU usage, instead of the combination of controlling terminal and process ID. |
|-S || Change the way the process time is calculated by summing all exited children to their parent process. |
|-T || Display information about processes attached to the device associated with the standard input. |
|-t || Display information about processes attached to the specified terminal devices. |
|-U || Display the processes belonging to the specified usernames. |
|-u || Display information associated with the following keywords: user, pid, %cpu, %mem, vsz, rss, tt, state, start, time, and command. The -u option implies the -r option. |
|-v || Display information associated with the following keywords: pid, state, time, sl, re, pagein, vsz, rss, lim, tsiz, %cpu, %mem, and command. The -v option implies the -m option. |
|-w || Use 132 columns to display information, instead of the default which is your window size. If the -w option is specified more than once, ps will use as many columns as necessary without regard for your window size. |
|-X || When displaying processes matched by other options, skip any processes which do not have a controlling terminal. |
|-x || When displaying processes matched by other options, include processes which do not have a controlling terminal. This is the opposite of the -X option. If both -X and -x are specified in the same command, then ps will use the one which was specified last. |
|-Z || Add mac(4) label to the list of keywords for which ps will display information. |
A complete list of the available keywords are listed below. Some of these keywords are further specified as follows:
| %cpu || The CPU utilization of the process; this is a decaying average over up to a minute of previous (real) time. Since the time base over which this is computed varies (since processes may be very young) it is possible for the sum of all %cpu fields to exceed 100%. |
| %mem || The percentage of real memory used by this process. |
| flags || The flags associated with the process as in the include file |
.In sys/proc.h :
| "P_ADVLOCK" "0x00001Process may hold a POSIX advisory lock" |
"P_CONTROLT" "0x00002 Has a controlling terminal"
"P_KTHREAD" "0x00004 Kernel thread"
"P_NOLOAD" "0x00008Ignore during load avg calculations"
"P_PPWAIT" "0x00010Parent is waiting for child to exec/exit"
"P_PROFIL" "0x00020Has started profiling"
"P_STOPPROF" "0x00040 Has thread in requesting to stop prof"
"P_SUGID" "0x00100 Had set id privileges since last exec"
"P_SYSTEM" "0x00200System proc: no sigs, stats or swapping"
"P_SINGLE_EXIT" "0x00400 Threads suspending should exit, not wait"
"P_TRACED" "0x00800Debugged process being traced"
"P_WAITED" "0x01000Someone is waiting for us"
"P_WEXIT" "0x02000 Working on exiting"
"P_EXEC" "0x04000Process called exec"
"P_SA" "0x08000 Using scheduler activations"
"P_CONTINUED" "0x10000 Proc has continued from a stopped state"
"P_STOPPED_SIG" "0x20000 Stopped due to SIGSTOP/SIGTSTP"
"P_STOPPED_TRACE" "0x40000 Stopped because of tracing"
"P_STOPPED_SINGLE" "0x80000Only one thread can continue"
"P_PROTECTED" "0x100000 Do not kill on memory overcommit"
"P_SIGEVENT" "0x200000 Process pending signals changed"
"P_JAILED" "0x1000000 Process is in jail"
"P_INEXEC" "0x4000000 Process is in execve()"
| || |
| label || The MAC label of the process. |
| lim || The soft limit on memory used, specified via a call to setrlimit(2). |
| lstart || The exact time the command started, using the %c format described in strftime(3). |
| lockname || The name of the lock that the process is currently blocked on. If the name is invalid or unknown, then "???" is displayed. |
| logname || The login name associated with the session the process is in (see getlogin(2)). |
| mwchan || The event name if the process is blocked normally, or the lock name if the process is blocked on a lock. See the wchan and lockname keywords for details. |
| nice || The process scheduling increment (see setpriority(2)). |
| rss || the real memory (resident set) size of the process (in 1024 byte units). |
| start || The time the command started. If the command started less than 24 hours ago, the start time is displayed using the "%l:ps.1p" format described in strftime(3). If the command started less than 7 days ago, the start time is displayed using the "%a6.15p" format. Otherwise, the start time is displayed using the "%e%b%y" format. |
| state || The state is given by a sequence of characters, for example, "RWNA". The first character indicates the run state of the process: |
| D || Marks a process in disk (or other short term, uninterruptible) wait. |
| I || Marks a process that is idle (sleeping for longer than about 20 seconds). |
| L || Marks a process that is waiting to acquire a lock. |
| R || Marks a runnable process. |
| S || Marks a process that is sleeping for less than about 20 seconds. |
| T || Marks a stopped process. |
| W || Marks an idle interrupt thread. |
| Z || Marks a dead process (a "zombie"). |
Additional characters after these, if any, indicate additional state information:
| + || The process is in the foreground process group of its control terminal. |
| < || The process has raised CPU scheduling priority. |
| E || The process is trying to exit. |
| J || Marks a process which is in jail(2). The hostname of the prison can be found in /proc/<pid/status>. |
| L || The process has pages locked in core (for example, for raw I/O). |
| N || The process has reduced CPU scheduling priority (see setpriority(2)). |
| s || The process is a session leader. |
| V || The process is suspended during a vfork(2). |
| W || The process is swapped out. |
| X || The process is being traced or debugged. |
| tt || An abbreviation for the pathname of the controlling terminal, if any. The abbreviation consists of the three letters following /dev/tty, or, for the console, "con". This is followed by a - if the process can no longer reach that controlling terminal (i.e., it has been revoked). |
| wchan || The event (an address in the system) on which a process waits. When printed numerically, the initial part of the address is trimmed off and the result is printed in hex, for example, 0x80324000 prints as 324000. |
When printing using the command keyword, a process that has exited and has a parent that has not yet waited for the process (in other words, a zombie) is listed as "<defunct>", and a process which is blocked while trying to exit is listed as "<exiting>". If the arguments cannot be located (usually because it has not been set, as is the case of system processes and/or kernel threads) the command name is printed within square brackets. The ps utility first tries to obtain the arguments cached by the kernel (if they were shorter than the value of the kern.ps_arg_cache_limit sysctl). The process can change the arguments shown with setproctitle(3). Otherwise, ps makes an educated guess as to the file name and arguments given when the process was created by examining memory or the swap area. The method is inherently somewhat unreliable and in any event a process is entitled to destroy this information. The ucomm (accounting) keyword can, however, be depended on. If the arguments are unavailable or do not agree with the ucomm keyword, the value for the ucomm keyword is appended to the arguments in parentheses.
The following is a complete list of the available keywords and their meanings. Several of them have aliases (keywords which are synonyms).
| %cpu || percentage CPU usage (alias pcpu) |
| %mem || percentage memory usage (alias pmem) |
| acflag || accounting flag (alias acflg) |
| args || command and arguments |
| comm || command |
| command || command and arguments |
| cpu || short-term CPU usage factor (for scheduling) |
| etime || elapsed running time |
| flags || the process flags, in hexadecimal (alias f) |
| inblk || total blocks read (alias inblock) |
| jid || jail ID |
| jobc || job control count |
| ktrace || tracing flags |
| label || MAC label |
| lim || memoryuse limit |
| lockname || lock currently blocked on (as a symbolic name) |
| logname || login name of user who started the session |
| lstart || time started |
| majflt || total page faults |
| minflt || total page reclaims |
| msgrcv || total messages received (reads from pipes/sockets) |
| msgsnd || total messages sent (writes on pipes/sockets) |
| mwchan || wait channel or lock currently blocked on |
| nice || nice value (alias ni) |
| nivcsw || total involuntary context switches |
| nsigs || total signals taken (alias nsignals) |
| nswap || total swaps in/out |
| nvcsw || total voluntary context switches |
| nwchan || wait channel (as an address) |
| oublk || total blocks written (alias oublock) |
| paddr || swap address |
| pagein || pageins (same as majflt) |
| pgid || process group number |
| pid || process ID |
| poip || pageouts in progress |
| ppid || parent process ID |
| pri || scheduling priority |
| re || core residency time (in seconds; 127 = infinity) |
| rgid || real group ID |
| rgroup || group name (from rgid) |
| rlink || reverse link on run queue, or 0 |
| rss || resident set size |
| rtprio || realtime priority (101 = not a realtime process) |
| ruid || real user ID |
| ruser || user name (from ruid) |
| sid || session ID |
| sig || pending signals (alias pending) |
| sigcatch || caught signals (alias caught) |
| sigignore || ignored signals (alias ignored) |
| sigmask || blocked signals (alias blocked) |
| sl || sleep time (in seconds; 127 = infinity) |
| start || time started |
| state || symbolic process state (alias stat) |
| svgid || saved gid from a setgid executable |
| svuid || saved UID from a setuid executable |
| tdev || control terminal device number |
| time || accumulated CPU time, user + system (alias cputime) |
| tpgid || control terminal process group ID |
| tsid || control terminal session ID |
| tsiz || text size (in Kbytes) |
| tt || control terminal name (two letter abbreviation) |
| tty || full name of control terminal |
| uprocp || process pointer |
| ucomm || name to be used for accounting |
| uid || effective user ID |
| upr || scheduling priority on return from system call (alias usrpri) |
| user || user name (from UID) |
| vsz || virtual size in Kbytes (alias vsize) |
| wchan || wait channel (as a symbolic name) |
| xstat || exit or stop status (valid only for stopped or zombie process) |
The following environment variables affect the execution of ps:
| COLUMNS || If set, specifies the users preferred output width in column positions. By default, ps attempts to automatically determine the terminal width. |
| /boot/kernel/kernel || default system namelist |
| /proc || the mount point of procfs(5) |
kill(1), pgrep(1), pkill(1), w(1), kvm(3), strftime(3), mac(4), procfs(5), pstat(8), sysctl(8), mutex(9)
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