ps - display the status of current processes
/usr/ucb/ps [-aceglnrSuUvwx] [-t term] [num]
The ps command displays information about processes. Nor-
mally, only those processes that are running with your
effective user ID and are attached to a controlling terminal
(see termio(7I)) are shown. Additional categories of
processes can be added to the display using various options.
In particular, the -a option allows you to include processes
that are not owned by you (that do not have your user ID),
and the -x option allows you to include processes without
controlling terminals. When you specify both -a and -x, you
get processes owned by anyone, with or without a controlling
terminal. The -r option restricts the list of processes
printed to running and runnable processes.
ps displays in tabular form the process ID, under PID; the
controlling terminal (if any), under TT; the cpu time used
by the process so far, including both user and system time,
under TIME; the state of the process, under S; and finally,
an indication of the COMMAND that is running.
The state is given by a single letter from the following:
O Process is running on a processor.
S Sleeping. Process is waiting for an event to complete.
R Runnable. Process is on run queue.
Z Zombie state. Process terminated and parent not wait-
T Traced. Process stopped by a signal because parent is
The following options must all be combined to form the first
-a Includes information about processes owned by others.
-c Displays the command name rather than the command
-e Displays the environment as well as the arguments to
-g Displays all processes. Without this option, ps only
prints interesting processes. Processes are deemed to
be uninteresting if they are process group leaders.
This normally eliminates top-level command inter-
preters and processes waiting for users to login on
-l Displays a long listing, with fields F, PPID, CP, PRI,
NI, SZ, RSS, and WCHAN as described below.
-n Produces numerical output for some fields. In a user
listing, the USER field is replaced by a UID field.
-r Restricts output to running and runnable processes.
-S Displays accumulated CPU time used by this process and
all of its reaped children.
Lists only process data associated with the terminal,
term. Terminal identifiers may be specified in one of
two forms: the device's file name (for example,
tty04 or term/14 ) or, if the device's file name
starts with tty, just the digit identifier (for exam-
-u Displays user-oriented output. This includes fields
USER, %CPU, %MEM, SZ, RSS, and START as described
-U Obsolete. This option no longer has any effect. It
causes ps to exit without printing the process list-
-v Displays a version of the output containing virtual
memory. This includes fields SIZE, %CPU, %MEM, and
RSS, described below.
-w Uses a wide output format (132 columns rather than
80). If the option letter is repeated, that is, -ww,
uses arbitrarily wide output. This information is used
to decide how much of long commands to print. Note:
The wide output option can be viewed only by a
superuser or the user who owns the process.
-x Includes processes with no controlling terminal.
num A process number may be given, in which case the out-
put is restricted to that process. This option must be
Fields that are not common to all output formats:
USER Name of the owner of the process.
%CPU CPU use of the process. This is a decaying average
over up to a minute of previous (real) time.
NI Process scheduling increment (see getpriority(3C) and
SIZE The total size of the process in virtual memory,
including all mapped files and devices, in kilobyte
SZ Same as SIZE.
RSS Real memory (resident set) size of the process, in
UID Numerical user-ID of process owner.
PPID Numerical ID of parent of process.
CP Short-term CPU utilization factor (used in schedul-
PRI The priority of the process (higher numbers mean lower
START The starting time of the process, given in hours,
minutes, and seconds. A process begun more than 24
hours before the ps inquiry is executed is given in
months and days.
WCHAN The address of an event for which the process is
sleeping (if blank, the process is running).
%MEM The ratio of the process's resident set size to the
physical memory on the machine, expressed as a percen-
F Flags (hexadecimal and additive) associated with the
process. These flags are available for historical pur-
poses; no meaning should be currently ascribed to
A process that has exited and has a parent, but has not yet
been waited for by the parent, is marked <defunct>; other-
wise, ps tries to determine the command name and arguments
given when the process was created by examining the user
UID information supplier
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWscpu |
kill(1), ps(1), whodo(1M), getpriority(3C), nice(3UCB),
proc(4), attributes(5), termio(7I)
Things can change while ps is running. The picture ps gives
is only a close approximation to the current state. Some
data printed for defunct processes is irrelevant.
Man(1) output converted with