The ps command

By | April 26, 2016

The ps will provide you a list of processes currently running. There is a wide variety of options that this command gives you.

A common use would be to list all processes currently running. To do this you would use the ps -ef command. (Screen output from this command is too large to include, the following is only a partial output.)
UID PID PPID C STIME TTY TIME CMD
root 1 0 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:03 init
root 2 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [keventd]
root 3 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [kapmd]
root 4 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [ksoftirqd_CPU0]
root 9 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [bdflush]
root 5 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [kswapd]
root 6 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [kscand/DMA]
root 7 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:01:28 [kscand/Normal]
root 8 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [kscand/HighMem]
root 10 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [kupdated]
root 11 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [mdrecoveryd]
root 15 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:01 [kjournald]
root 81 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [khubd]
root 1188 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [kjournald]
root 1675 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 syslogd -m 0
root 1679 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 klogd -x
rpc 1707 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 portmap
root 1813 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 /usr/sbin/sshd
ntp 1847 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 ntpd -U ntp
root 1930 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 rpc.rquotad
root 1934 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [nfsd]
root 1942 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [lockd]
root 1943 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 [rpciod]
root 1949 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 rpc.mountd
root 1961 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 /usr/sbin/vsftpd /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf
root 2057 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 /usr/bin/spamd -d -c -a
root 2066 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 gpm -t ps/2 -m /dev/psaux
bin 2076 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 /usr/sbin/cannaserver -syslog -u bin
root 2087 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 crond
daemon 2195 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:00 /usr/sbin/atd
root 2215 1 0 Dec22 ? 00:00:11 /usr/sbin/rcd
weeksa 3414 3413 0 Dec22 pts/1 00:00:00 /bin/bash
weeksa 4342 3413 0 Dec22 pts/2 00:00:00 /bin/bash
weeksa 19121 18668 0 12:58 pts/2 00:00:00 ps -ef

The first column shows who owns the process. The second column is the process ID. The Third column is the parent process ID. This is the process that generated, or started, the process. The forth column is the CPU usage (in percent). The fifth column is the start time, of date if the process has been running long enough. The sixth column is the tty associated with the process, if applicable. The seventh column is the cumulitive CPU usage (total amount of CPU time is has used while running). The eighth column is the command itself.

With this information you can see exacly what is running on your system and kill run-away processes, or those that are causing problems.

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