PS(1) User Commands PS(1)

ps - report process status

ps [-aAcdefFjHlLPWyZ] [-g grplist] [-h lgrplist]
     [-n namelist] [-o format]... [-p proclist]
     [-s sidlist] [-t term] [-u uidlist] [-U uidlist]
     [-G gidlist] [-z zonelist]

The ps command prints information about active processes. Without options, ps prints information about processes that have the same effective user ID and the same controlling terminal as the invoker. The output contains only the process ID, terminal identifier, cumulative execution time, and the command name. Otherwise, the information that is displayed is controlled by the options.

Some options accept lists as arguments. Items in a list can be either separated by commas or else enclosed in quotes and separated by commas or spaces. Values for proclist and grplist must be numeric.

The following options are supported:

-a

Lists information about all processes most frequently requested: all those except session leaders and processes not associated with a terminal.

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-A

Lists information for all processes. Identical to -e, below.

-c

Prints information in a format that reflects scheduler properties as described in priocntl(1). The -c option affects the output of the -f and -l options, as described below.

-d

Lists information about all processes except session leaders.

-e

Lists information about every process now running.

When the -e option is specified, options -z, -t, -u, -U, -g, -G, -p, -h, -s and -a have no effect.

-f

Generates a full listing. (See below for significance of columns in a full listing.)

-F

Generates a full listing but shows up to 4096 characters of the current command arguments for a process (which may have been changed since the process was launched).

-g grplist

Lists only process data whose group leader's ID number(s) appears in grplist. (A group leader is a process whose process ID number is identical to its process group ID number.)

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-G gidlist

Lists information for processes whose real group ID numbers are given in gidlist. The gidlist must be a single argument in the form of a blank- or comma-separated list.

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-h lgrplist

Lists only the processes homed to the specified lgrplist. Nothing is listed for any invalid group specified in lgrplist.

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-H

Prints the home lgroup of the process under an additional column header, LGRP.

-j

Prints session ID and process group ID.

-l

Generates a long listing. (See below.)

-L

Prints information about each light weight process (lwp) in each selected process. (See below.)

-n namelist

Specifies the name of an alternative system namelist file in place of the default. This option is accepted for compatibility, but is ignored.

-o format

Prints information according to the format specification given in format. This is fully described in DISPLAY FORMATS. Multiple -o options can be specified; the format specification is interpreted as the space-character-separated concatenation of all the format option-arguments.

-p proclist

Lists only process data whose process ID numbers are given in proclist.

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-P

Prints the number of the processor to which the process or lwp is bound, if any, under an additional column header, PSR.

-s sidlist

Lists information on all session leaders whose IDs appear in sidlist.

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-t term

Lists only process data associated with term. Terminal identifiers are specified as a device file name, and an identifier. For example, term/a, or pts/0.

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-u uidlist

Lists only process data whose effective user ID number or login name is given in uidlist. In the listing, the numerical user ID is printed unless you give the -f option, which prints the login name.

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-U uidlist

Lists information for processes whose real user ID numbers or login names are given in uidlist. The uidlist must be a single argument in the form of a blank- or comma-separated list.

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-W

Truncate long names even when ps would normally print them in full. A trailing asterisk marks a long name that has been truncated to fit the column.

-y

Under a long listing (-l), omits the obsolete F and ADDR columns and includes an RSS column to report the resident set size of the process. Under the -y option, both RSS and SZ (see below) is reported in units of kilobytes instead of pages.

-z zonelist

Lists only processes in the specified zones. Zones can be specified either by name or ID. This option is only useful when executed in the global zone.

This option is ignored when the -e option is also specified.

-Z

Prints the name of the zone with which the process is associated under an additional column header, ZONE. The ZONE column width is limited to 8 characters. Use ps -eZ for a quick way to see information about every process now running along with the associated zone name. Use


ps -eo zone,uid,pid,ppid,time,comm,...

to see zone names wider than 8 characters.

Many of the options shown are used to select processes to list. If any are specified, the default list is ignored and ps selects the processes represented by the inclusive OR of all the selection-criteria options.

Under the -f and -F options, ps tries to determine the command name and arguments for the process. For -f these are the arguments given when the process was created and they are truncated. For -F the arguments are read from the fB/proc/nnnnn/cmdline file which provides up to 4096 characters. The process may have changed these since it was started. Failing this, the command name is printed, as it would have appeared without the -f or -F options, in square brackets.

The column headings and the meaning of the columns in a ps listing are given below; the letters f and l indicate the option (full or long, respectively) that causes the corresponding heading to appear; all means that the heading always appears. Note: These two options determine only what information is provided for a process; they do not determine which processes are listed.

F(l)

Flags (hexadecimal and additive) associated with the process. These flags are available for historical purposes; no meaning should be currently ascribed to them.

S (l)

The state of the process:

O

Process is running on a processor.

S

Sleeping: process is waiting for an event to complete.

R

Runnable: process is on run queue.

T

Process is stopped, either by a job control signal or because it is being traced.

W

Waiting: process is waiting for CPU usage to drop to the CPU-caps enforced limits.

Z

Zombie state: process terminated and parent not waiting.

UID (f,l)

The effective user ID number of the process (the login name is printed under the -f option). A trailing asterisk marks a long name that has been truncated to fit the column.

PID(all)

The process ID of the process (this datum is necessary in order to kill a process).

PPID(f,l)

The process ID of the parent process.

C(f,l)

Processor utilization for scheduling (obsolete). Not printed when the -c option is used.

CLS(f,l)

Scheduling class. Printed only when the -c option is used.

PRI(l)

The priority of the process. Without the -c option, higher numbers mean lower priority. With the -c option, higher numbers mean higher priority.

NI(l)

Nice value, used in priority computation. Not printed when the -c option is used. Only processes in the certain scheduling classes have a nice value.

ADDR(l)

The memory address of the process.

SZ(l)

The total size of the process in virtual memory, including all mapped files and devices, in pages. See pagesize(1).

WCHAN(l)

The address of an event for which the process is sleeping (if blank, the process is running).

STIME(f)

The starting time of the process, given in hours, minutes, and seconds. (A process begun more than twenty-four hours before the ps inquiry is executed is given in months and days.)

TTY(all)

The controlling terminal for the process (the message, ?, is printed when there is no controlling terminal).

TIME(all)

The cumulative execution time for the process.

LTIME(all)

The execution time for the lwp being reported.

CMD(all)

The command name (or, with the -f option, the full command name and its arguments up to a limited of 80 characters or, with the -F option, up to 4096 characters of the current process arguments).

The following two additional columns are printed when the -j option is specified:

PGID

The process ID of the process group leader.

SID

The process ID of the session leader.

The following two additional columns are printed when the -L option is specified:

LWP

The lwp ID of the lwp being reported.

NLWP

The number of lwps in the process (if -f is also specified).

Under the -L option, one line is printed for each lwp in the process and the time-reporting fields STIME and LTIME show the values for the lwp, not the process. A traditional single-threaded process contains only one lwp.

A process that has exited and has a parent, but has not yet been waited for by the parent, is marked <defunct>.

The -o option allows the output format to be specified under user control.

The format specification must be a list of names presented as a single argument, blank- or comma-separated. Each variable has a default header. The default header can be overridden by appending an equals sign and the new text of the header. The rest of the characters in the argument is used as the header text. The fields specified are written in the order specified on the command line, and should be arranged in columns in the output. The field widths are selected by the system to be at least as wide as the header text (default or overridden value). If the header text is null, such as -o user=, the field width is at least as wide as the default header text. Long names are not truncated in this mode. If all header text fields are null, no header line is written.

The following names are recognized in the POSIX locale:

user

The effective user ID of the process. This is the textual user ID, if it can be obtained and the field width permits, or a decimal representation otherwise.

ruser

The real user ID of the process. This is the textual user ID, if it can be obtained and the field width permits, or a decimal representation otherwise.

group

The effective group ID of the process. This is the textual group ID, if it can be obtained and the field width permits, or a decimal representation otherwise.

rgroup

The real group ID of the process. This is the textual group ID, if it can be obtained and the field width permits, or a decimal representation otherwise.

pid

The decimal value of the process ID.

ppid

The decimal value of the parent process ID.

pgid

The decimal value of the process group ID.

pcpu

The ratio of CPU time used recently to CPU time available in the same period, expressed as a percentage. The meaning of ``recently'' in this context is unspecified. The CPU time available is determined in an unspecified manner.

vsz

The total size of the process in virtual memory, in kilobytes.

nice

The decimal value of the system scheduling priority of the process. See nice(1).

etime

In the POSIX locale, the elapsed time since the process was started, in the form:

[[dd-]hh:]mm:ss

where

dd

is the number of days

hh

is the number of hours

mm

is the number of minutes

ss

is the number of seconds

The dd field is a decimal integer. The hh, mm and ss fields is two-digit decimal integers padded on the left with zeros.

time

In the POSIX locale, the cumulative CPU time of the process in the form:

[dd-]hh:mm:ss

The dd, hh, mm, and ss fields is as described in the etime specifier.

tty

The name of the controlling terminal of the process (if any) in the same format used by the who(1) command.

comm

The name of the command being executed (argv[0] value) as a string.

args

The command with all its arguments as a string. The implementation might truncate this value to the field width; it is implementation-dependent whether any further truncation occurs. It is unspecified whether the string represented is a version of the argument list as it was passed to the command when it started, or is a version of the arguments as they might have been modified by the application. Applications cannot depend on being able to modify their argument list and having that modification be reflected in the output of ps. However, the current implementation will display up to 4096 characters of the modified process arguments when given the -F argument; otherwise this is the initial process arguments, but limited to 80 bytes.

The following names are recognized in the illumos implementation:

f

Flags (hexadecimal and additive) associated with the process.

s

The state of the process.

c

Processor utilization for scheduling (obsolete).

uid

The effective user ID number of the process as a decimal integer.

ruid

The real user ID number of the process as a decimal integer.

gid

The effective group ID number of the process as a decimal integer.

rgid

The real group ID number of the process as a decimal integer.

projid

The project ID number of the process as a decimal integer.

project

The project ID of the process as a textual value if that value can be obtained; otherwise, as a decimal integer.

zoneid

The zone ID number of the process as a decimal integer.

zone

The zone ID of the process as a textual value if that value can be obtained; otherwise, as a decimal integer.

sid

The process ID of the session leader.

taskid

The task ID of the process.

class

The scheduling class of the process.

pri

The priority of the process. Higher numbers mean higher priority.

opri

The obsolete priority of the process. Lower numbers mean higher priority.

lwp

The decimal value of the lwp ID. Requesting this formatting option causes one line to be printed for each lwp in the process.

lwpname

The name of the lwp, if set. Requesting this formatting option causes one line to be printed for each lwp in the process.

nlwp

The number of lwps in the process.

psr

The number of the processor to which the process or lwp is bound.

pset

The ID of the processor set to which the process or lwp is bound.

addr

The memory address of the process.

osz

The total size of the process in virtual memory, in pages.

wchan

The address of an event for which the process is sleeping (if −, the process is running).

stime

The starting time or date of the process, printed with no blanks.

rss

The resident set size of the process, in kilobytes. The rss value reported by ps is an estimate provided by proc(5) that might underestimate the actual resident set size. Users who wish to get more accurate usage information for capacity planning should use pmap(1) -x instead.

pmem

The ratio of the process's resident set size to the physical memory on the machine, expressed as a percentage.

fname

The first 8 bytes of the base name of the process's executable file.

ctid

The contract ID of the process contract the process is a member of as a decimal integer.

lgrp

The home lgroup of the process.

dmodel

The data model of the process, printed in the same manner as via pflags(1). The currently supported data models are _ILP32 and _LP64.

Only comm, lwpname, and args are allowed to contain blank characters; all others, including the illumos implementation variables, are not.

The following table specifies the default header to be used in the POSIX locale corresponding to each format specifier.

Format Default Format Default
Specifier Header Specifier Header
args COMMAND ppid PPID
comm COMMAND rgroup RGROUP
etime ELAPSED ruser RUSER
group GROUP time TIME
nice NI tty TT
pcpu %CPU user USER
pgid PGID vsz VSZ
pid PID

The following table lists the illumos implementation format specifiers and the default header used with each.

Format Default Format Default
Specifier Header Specifier Header
addr ADDR projid PROJID
c C project PROJECT
class CLS psr PSR
f F rgid RGID
fname COMMAND rss RSS
gid GID ruid RUID
lgrp LGRP s S
lwp LWP sid SID
lwpname LWPNAME stime STIME
nlwp NLWP taskid TASKID
opri PRI uid UID
osz SZ wchan WCHAN
pmem %MEM zone ZONE
pri PRI zoneid ZONEID
ctid CTID

Example 1 Using ps Command

The command:


example% ps -o user,pid,ppid=MOM -o args

writes the following in the POSIX locale:


 USER  PID   MOM   COMMAND
helene  34    12   ps -o uid,pid,ppid=MOM -o args

The contents of the COMMAND field need not be the same due to possible truncation.

See environ(7) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of ps: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, LC_TIME, and NLSPATH.

COLUMNS

Override the system-selected horizontal screen size, used to determine the number of text columns to display.

The following exit values are returned:

0

Successful completion.

>0

An error occurred.

/dev/pts/*

/dev/term/*

terminal (``tty'') names searcher files

/etc/passwd

UID information supplier

/proc/*

process control files

See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

ATTRIBUTE TYPE ATTRIBUTE VALUE
CSI Enabled (see USAGE)
Interface Stability Committed
Standard See standards(7).

kill(1), lgrpinfo(1), nice(1), pagesize(1), pmap(1), priocntl(1), who(1), proc(5), ttysrch(5), attributes(7), environ(7), resource_controls(7), standards(7), zones(7), getty(8)

Things can change while ps is running. The snapshot it gives is true only for a split-second, and it might not be accurate by the time you see it. Some data printed for defunct processes is irrelevant.

If no options to select processes are specified, ps reports all processes associated with the controlling terminal. If there is no controlling terminal, there is no report other than the header.

ps -ef or ps -o stime might not report the actual start of a tty login session, but rather an earlier time, when a getty was last respawned on the tty line.

ps is CSI-enabled except for login names (usernames).

March 5, 2020 OmniOS