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RocketLink!--> Man page versions: OpenBSD FreeBSD NetBSD RedHat Solaris Others

PS(1)                      OpenBSD Reference Manual                      PS(1)

     ps - process status

     ps [-acCehjlmrSTuvwx] [-M core] [-N system] [-O fmt] [-o fmt] [-p pid]
        [-t tty] [-U username] [-W swap]
     ps [-L]

     The ps utility displays information about active processes.  When given
     no options, ps prints information about processes associated with the
     controlling terminal.

     The information displayed is selected based on a set of keywords (and for
     even more control, see the -L, -O, and -o options).  The default output
     format includes, for each process, the process's ID, controlling termi-
     nal, CPU time (including both user and system time), state, and associat-
     ed command.

     The options are as follows:

     -a      Display information about other users' processes as well as your

     -c      Do not display full command with arguments, but only the exe-
             cutable name.  This may be somewhat confusing; for example, all
             sh(1) scripts will show as ``sh''.

     -C      Change the way the CPU percentage is calculated by using a
             ``raw'' CPU calculation that ignores ``resident'' time (this nor-
             mally has no effect).

     -e      Display the environment as well.

     -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, sess, jobc, state, tt, time and command.

     -L      List the set of available keywords.

     -l      Display information associated with the following keywords: uid,
             pid, ppid, cpu, pri, nice, vsz, rss, wchan, state, tt, time and

     -M core
             Extract values associated with the name list from the specified
             core instead of the default ``/dev/kmem''.

     -m      Sort by memory usage, instead of by process ID.

     -N system
             Extract the name list from the specified system instead of the
             default ``/bsd''.

     -O fmt  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 fmt  Display information associated with the space or comma separated
             list of keywords specified.  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.

     -p pid  Display information associated with the specified process ID.

     -r      Sort by current CPU usage, instead of by process ID.

     -S      Change the way the process time is calculated by summing all ex-
             ited children to their parent process.

     -T      Display information about processes attached to the device asso-
             ciated with the standard input.

     -t tty  Display information about processes attached to the specified
             terminal device.

     -U username
             Display the processes belonging to the specified username.

     -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 swap
             Extract swap information from the specified file instead of the
             default ``/dev/drum''.

     -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 re-
             gard for your window size.

     -x      Display information about processes without controlling termi-

     All available keywords are listed below.  Some of these keywords are fur-
     ther 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

     %mem    The percentage of real memory used by this process.

     flags   The flags (in hexadecimal) associated with the process as in the
             include file <sys/proc.h>:

             P_ADVLOCK      0x0000001      process may hold a POSIX advisory
             P_CONTROLT     0x0000002      process has a controlling terminal
             P_INMEM        0x0000004      process is loaded into memory
             P_NOCLDSTOP    0x0000008      no SIGCHLD when children stop
             P_PPWAIT       0x0000010      parent is waiting for child to
             P_PROFIL       0x0000020      process has started profiling
             P_SELECT       0x0000040      selecting; wakeup/waiting danger
             P_SINTR        0x0000080      sleep is interruptible
             P_SUGID        0x0000100      process had set id privileges since

                                           last exec
             P_SYSTEM       0x0000200      system process: no sigs, stats or
             P_TIMEOUT      0x0000400      timing out during sleep
             P_TRACED       0x0000800      process is being traced
             P_WAITED       0x0001000      debugging process has waited for
             P_WEXIT        0x0002000      working on exiting
             P_EXEC         0x0004000      process called exec(3)
             P_OWEUPC       0x0008000      owe process an addupc() call at
                                           next ast
             P_FSTRACE      0x0010000      tracing via file system
             P_SSTEP        0x0020000      process needs single-step fixup

     lim     The soft limit on memory used, specified via a call to

     lstart  The exact time the command started, using the ``%c'' format de-
             scribed in strftime(3).

     nice    The process scheduling increment (see setpriority(2)).

     rss     The real memory (resident set) size of the process (in 1024 byte

     start   The time the command started.  If the command started less than
             24 hours ago, the start time is displayed using the ``%l:%M%p''
             format described in strftime(3).  If the command started less
             than 7 days ago, the start time is displayed using the ``%a%I%p''
             format.  Otherwise, the start time is displayed using the
             ``%e%b%y'' format.

     state   The state is given by a sequence of letters, for example,
             ``RWNA''. The first letter indicates the run state of the pro-

             D       Marks a process in disk (or other short term, uninter-
                     ruptible) wait.
             I       Marks a process that is idle (sleeping for longer than
                     about 20 seconds).
             R       Marks a runnable process.
             S       Marks a process that is sleeping for less than about 20
             T       Marks a stopped process.
             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.
             >       The process has specified a soft limit on memory require-
                     ments and is currently exceeding that limit; such a pro-
                     cess is (necessarily) not swapped.
             E       The process is trying to exit.
             L       The process has pages locked in core (for example, for
                     raw I/O).
             N       The process has reduced CPU scheduling priority (see
             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 two letters following
             ``/dev/tty'', or, for the console, ``co''. This is followed by a
             ``-'' if the process can no longer reach that controlling termi-
             nal (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>''. ps makes an educated guess as
     to the file name and arguments given when the process was created by ex-
     amining memory or the swap area.  The method is inherently somewhat unre-
     liable and in any event a process is entitled to destroy this informa-
     tion, so the names cannot be depended on too much.  The ucomm (account-
     ing) keyword can, however, be depended on.

     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)
     command    command and arguments (alias args)
     cpu        short-term CPU usage factor (for scheduling)
     emul       name of system call emulation environment
     flags      the process flags, in hexadecimal (alias f)
     gid        effective group
     group      text name of effective group ID
     holdcnt    number of holds on the process (if non-zero, process can't be
     inblk      total blocks read (alias inblock)
     jobc       job control count
     ktrace     tracing flags
     ktracep    tracing vnode
     lim        memoryuse limit
     logname    login name of user who started the process (alias login)
     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)
     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)
     p_ru       resource usage (valid only for zombie)
     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     text name of real group ID
     rlink      reverse link on run queue, or 0
     rss        resident set size
     rsz        resident set size + (text size / text use count) (alias rs-
     ruid       real user ID
     ruser      user name (from ruid)
     sess       session pointer
     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 (alias etime)
     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
     tsess      control terminal session pointer
     tsiz       text size (in Kbytes)
     tt         control terminal name (two letter abbreviation)
     tty        full name of control terminal
     ucomm      name to be used for accounting (alias comm)
     uid        effective user ID
     upr        scheduling priority on return from system call (alias usrpri)
     uprocp     process pointer
     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)

     /dev                special files and device names
     /dev/drum           default swap device
     /dev/kmem           default kernel memory
     /var/run/dev.db     /dev name database
     /var/db/kvm_bsd.db  system namelist database
     /bsd                default system namelist

     kill(1),  sh(1),  top(1),  w(1),  kvm(3),  strftime(3),  pstat(8)

     Since ps cannot run faster than the system and is run as any other sched-
     uled process, the information it displays can never be exact.

OpenBSD 2.6                     April 18, 1994                               5

Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.

(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)

[Detailed Topics]
FreeBSD Sources for ps(1)
OpenBSD sources for ps(1)

[Overview Topics]

Up to: Running Process Information - Getting information on running processes.

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