PS(1)                       General Commands Manual                      PS(1)


     ps - display process status


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


     The ps utility displays information about active processes.  When given
     no options, ps prints information about processes of the current user
     that have a 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
     terminal, state, CPU time (including both user and system time), and
     associated command.

     The options are as follows:

     -A      Display information about processes for all users, including
             those without controlling terminals.

     -a      Display information about processes for all users with
             controlling terminals.

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

     -e      Display the environment as well.

     -H      Also display information about kernel visible 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, sess, jobc, state, tt, time, and command.

     -k      Also display information about kernel threads.

     -L      List the set of available keywords.  This option should not be
             specified with other options.

     -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 running kernel.

     -m      Sort by memory usage, instead of by start time ID.

     -N system
             Extract the name list from the specified system instead of the
             running kernel.

     -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 start time 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 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
             When not using the running kernel, extract swap information from
             the specified file.

     -w      Use 132 columns to display information, instead of the default,
             which is the window size.  If the -w option is specified more
             than once, ps will use as many columns as necessary without
             regard for window size.

     -x      Display information about processes without controlling


     The following is a complete list of the available keywords and their
     meanings.  Several of them have aliases, which are also noted.

        %cpu         Alias: pcpu.  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         Alias: pmem.  The percentage of real memory used by this

        acflag       Alias: acflg.  Accounting flag.

        command      Alias: args.  Command and arguments.

        cpu          Short-term CPU usage factor (for scheduling).

        cpuid        CPU ID (zero on single processor systems).

        cwd          Current working directory.

        dsiz         Data size, in Kilobytes.

        emul         Name of system call emulation environment.

        etime        Elapsed time since the process was started.

        flags        Alias: f.  The thread flags (in hexadecimal), as defined
                     in the include file <sys/proc.h>:

                     P_INKTR           0x1 writing ktrace(2) record
                     P_PROFPEND        0x2 this thread needs SIGPROF
                     P_ALRMPEND        0x4 this thread needs SIGVTALRM
                     P_SIGSUSPEND      0x8 need to restore before-suspend mask
                     P_CANTSLEEP      0x10 this thread is not permitted to sleep
                     P_SELECT         0x40 selecting; wakeup/waiting danger
                     P_SINTR          0x80 sleep is interruptible
                     P_SYSTEM        0x200 system process: no sigs, stats, or
                     P_TIMEOUT       0x400 timing out during sleep
                     P_WEXIT        0x2000 working on exiting
                     P_OWEUPC       0x8000 profiling sample needs recording
                     P_SUSPSINGLE  0x80000 need to suspend for single threading
                     P_CONTINUED  0x800000 thread has continued after a stop
                     P_THREAD    0x4000000 not the original thread
                     P_SUSPSIG   0x8000000 stopped because of a signal
                     P_SOFTDEP  0x10000000 stuck processing softdep worklist
                     P_CPUPEG   0x40000000 do not move to another cpu

        gid          Effective group.

        group        Text name of effective group ID.

        inblk        Alias: inblock.  Total blocks read.

        jobc         Job control count.

        ktrace       Tracing flags.

        ktracep      Tracing vnode.

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

        logname      Alias: login.  Login name of user who started the

        lstart       The exact time the command started, using the "%c" format
                     described in strftime(3).

        majflt       Total page faults.

        maxrss       Maximum resident set size (in 1024 byte units).

        minflt       Total page reclaims.

        msgrcv       Total messages received (reads from pipes/sockets).

        msgsnd       Total messages sent (writes on pipes/sockets).

        nice         Alias: ni.  The process scheduling increment (see

        nivcsw       Total involuntary context switches.

        nsigs        Alias: nsignals.  Total signals taken.

        nswap        Total swaps in/out.

        nvcsw        Total voluntary context switches.

        nwchan       Wait channel (as an address).

        oublk        Alias: oublock.  Total blocks written.

        p_ru         Resource usage (valid only for zombie processes).

        paddr        Swap address.

        pagein       Pageins (same as majflt).

        pgid         Process group number.

        pid          Process ID.

        ppid         Parent process ID.

        pri          Scheduling priority.

        procflags    The process flags (in hexadecimal), as defined in the
                     include file <sys/proc.h>:

                     PS_CONTROLT            0x1 process has a controlling
                     PS_EXEC                0x2 process called exec(3)
                     PS_INEXEC              0x4 process is doing an exec right
                     PS_EXITING             0x8 process is exiting
                     PS_SUGID              0x10 process had set ID privileges
                                                since last exec
                     PS_SUGIDEXEC          0x20 last exec(3) was set[ug]id
                     PS_PPWAIT             0x40 parent is waiting for process
                                                to exec/exit
                     PS_ISPWAIT            0x80 process is parent of PPWAIT
                     PS_PROFIL            0x100 process has started profiling
                     PS_TRACED            0x200 process is being traced
                     PS_WAITED            0x400 debugging process has waited
                                                for child
                     PS_COREDUMP          0x800 busy coredumping
                     PS_SINGLEEXIT       0x1000 other threads must die
                     PS_SINGLEUNWIND     0x2000 other threads must unwind
                     PS_NOZOMBIE         0x4000 pid 1 waits for me instead of
                     PS_STOPPED          0x8000 just stopped, need to send
                     PS_SYSTEM          0x10000 No signals, stats or swapping
                     PS_EMBRYO          0x20000 New process, not yet fledged
                     PS_ZOMBIE          0x40000 Dead and ready to be waited for
                     PS_NOBROADCASTKILL 0x80000 Process excluded from kill -1
                     PS_PLEDGE         0x100000 process has called pledge(2)

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

        rsz          Alias: rssize.  Resident set size + (text size / text use

        rtable       Routing table.

        ruid         Real user ID.

        ruser        User name (from ruid).

        sess         Session pointer.

        sig          Alias: pending.  Pending signals.

        sigcatch     Alias: caught.  Caught signals.

        sigignore    Alias: ignored.  Ignored signals.

        sigmask      Alias: blocked.  Blocked signals.

        sl           Sleep time (in seconds; 127 = infinity).

        ssiz         Stack size, in Kilobytes.

        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        Alias: stat.  The state is given by a sequence of
                     letters, for example, "RWN".  The first letter 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).
                     R       Marks a runnable process.
                     S       Marks a process that is sleeping for less than
                             about 20 seconds.
                     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 a raised CPU scheduling priority
                             (see setpriority(2)).
                     >       The process has specified a soft limit on memory
                             requirements and is currently exceeding that
                             limit; such a process is (necessarily) not
                     E       The process is trying to exit.
                     K       The process is a kernel thread.
                     N       The process has a reduced CPU scheduling
                     p       The process has called pledge(2).
                     s       The process is a session leader.
                     V       The process is suspended during a vfork(2).
                     X       The process is being traced or debugged.
                     /n      On multiprocessor machines, specifies processor
                             number n.

        svgid        Saved GID from a setgid executable.

        svuid        Saved UID from a setuid executable.

        tdev         Control terminal device number.

        tid          Thread ID.  Used together with -H.

        time         Alias: cputime.  Accumulated CPU time, user + system.

        tpgid        Control terminal process group ID.

        tsess        Control terminal session pointer.

        tsiz         Text size, in Kilobytes.

        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 terminal (i.e. it has been

        tty          Full name of control terminal.

        ucomm        Alias: comm.  Name to be used for accounting.

        uid          Effective user ID.

        upr          Alias: usrpri.  Scheduling priority on return from system

        user         User name (from uid).

        vsz          Alias: vsize.  Virtual size, in Kilobytes.

        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.

        xstat        Exit or stop status (valid only for stopped or zombie


     The following environment variables affect the execution of ps:

     COLUMNS   If set to a positive integer, output is formatted to the given
               width in columns.  Otherwise, ps defaults to the terminal width
               minus 1.  If none of stdout, stderr, and stdin are a terminal,
               79 columns are used.

     LC_CTYPE  The character encoding locale(1).  It decides which byte
               sequences form characters, which characters are printable, and
               what their display width is.  If unset or set to "C", "POSIX",
               or an unsupported value, only printable ASCII characters are
               printed.  Tabs, newlines, non-printable ASCII characters, and
               non-ASCII bytes are encoded with vis(3).  If UTF-8 output is
               enabled, valid characters that are not printable are replaced
               with the Unicode replacement character U+FFFD.  These rules for
               example apply to command names, arguments, and environments and
               to directory, user, and group names.

     TZ        The time zone to use when displaying dates.  See environ(7) for
               more information.


     /dev                   special files and device names
     /var/db/kvm_bsd.db     system namelist database
     /var/run/dev.db        /dev name database


     The ps utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


     Display information on all system processes:

           $ ps -auxw


     fstat(1), kill(1), netstat(1), pgrep(1), pkill(1), procmap(1), systat(1),
     top(1), w(1), kvm(3), strftime(3), dev_mkdb(8), iostat(8), pstat(8),


     The ps utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 ("POSIX.1")
     specification, except that the flag [-G] is unsupported and the flags
     [-ptU] support only single arguments, not lists.

     The flags [-defglnu] are marked by IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 ("POSIX.1") as
     being an X/Open System Interfaces option.  Of these, [-dfgn] are not
     supported by this implementation of ps; behaviour for the flags [-elu]
     differs between this implementation and the X/Open System Interfaces
     option of IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 ("POSIX.1").

     The flags [-cHhjkLMmNOrSTvWwx] are extensions to IEEE Std 1003.1-2008

     Only the following keywords are recognised by IEEE Std 1003.1-2008
     ("POSIX.1"): args, comm, etime, group, nice, pcpu, pgid, pid, ppid,
     rgroup, ruser, time, tty, user, and vsz.


     A ps command appeared in Version 3 AT&T UNIX in section 8 of the manual.


     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
     examining memory or the swap area.  The method is inherently somewhat
     unreliable and in any event a process is entitled to destroy this
     information, so the names cannot be depended on too much.  The ucomm
     (accounting) keyword can, however, be depended on.

     The information displayed is only a snapshot of a constantly changing

OpenBSD 6.4                    October 26, 2016                    OpenBSD 6.4

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