Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Man Pages

Man Page or Keyword Search:
Man Architecture
Apropos Keyword Search (all sections) Output format
home | help
PS(1)                   FreeBSD General Commands Manual                  PS(1)

     ps - process status

     ps [-aCcefHhjlmrSTuvwxZ] [-M core] [-N system] [-O fmt] [-o fmt] [-p pid]
        [-t tty] [-U username[,username...]]
     ps [-L]

     The ps utility displays a header line followed by lines containing
     information about your processes that have controlling terminals.  This
     information is sorted by controlling terminal, then by process ID.

     The information displayed is selected based on a set of keywords (see the
     -L -O and -o options).  The default output format includes, for each
     process, the process' ID, controlling terminal, cpu time (including both
     user and system time), state, and associated command.

     The process file system (see procfs(5)) should be mounted when ps is
     executed, otherwise not all information will be available.

     The options are as follows:

     -a      Display information about other users' processes as well as your
             own.  This can be disabled by setting the
             security.bsd.see_other_uids sysctl to zero.

     -c      Change the ``command'' column output to just contain the
             executable name, rather than the full command line.

     -C      Change the way the cpu percentage is calculated by using a
             ``raw'' cpu calculation that ignores ``resident'' time (this
             normally has no effect).

     -e      Display the environment as well.

     -f      Show commandline and environment information about swapped out
             processes.  This option is honored only if the uid of the user is

     -H      Show all of the kernel visible threads associated with each
             process.  Depending on the threading package that is in use, this
             may show only the process, only the kernel scheduled entities, or
             all of the process 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, 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, mwchan, state, tt, time and

     -M      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      Extract the name list from the specified system instead of the
             default /boot/kernel/kernel.

     -O      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      Display information associated with the space or comma separated
             list of keywords specified.  Multiple keywords may also be given
             in the form of more than one -o option.  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      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
             exited children to their parent process.

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

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

     -U      Display the processes belonging to the specified username(s).

     -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      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
             regard for your window size.

     -x      Display information about processes without controlling

     -Z      Add label to the list of keywords for which ps will display

     A complete list of the available keywords are listed below.  Some of
     these keywords are further 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 100%.

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

     flags     The flags associated with the process as in the include file

               P_ADVLOCK      0x00001        Process may hold a POSIX advisory
               P_CONTROLT     0x00002        Has a controlling terminal
               P_INMEM        0x00004        Loaded into memory
               P_NOCLDSTOP    0x00008        No SIGCHLD when children stop
               P_PPWAIT       0x00010        Parent is waiting for child to
               P_PROFIL       0x00020        Has started profiling
               P_SELECT       0x00040        Selecting; wakeup/waiting danger
               P_SINTR        0x00080        Sleep is interruptible
               P_SUGID        0x00100        Had set id privileges since last
               P_SYSTEM       0x00200        System proc: no sigs, stats or
               P_TIMEOUT      0x00400        Timing out during sleep
               P_TRACED       0x00800        Debugged process being traced
               P_WAITED       0x01000        Debugging process has waited for
               P_WEXIT        0x02000        Working on exiting
               P_EXEC         0x04000        Process called exec
               P_OWEUPC       0x20000        Owe process an addupc() call at
                                             next ast
               P_SWAPPING     0x40000        Process is being swapped

     label     The MAC label of the process.

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

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

     lockname  The name of the lock that the process is currently blocked on.
               If the name is invalid or unknown, then ``???'' is displayed.

     mwchan    The event name if the process is blocked normally, or the lock
               name if the process is blocked on a lock.  See the wchan and
               lockname keywords for details.

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

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

     start     The time the command started.  If the command started less than
               24 hours ago, the start time is displayed using the
               ``%l:ps.1p'' format described in strftime(3).  If the command
               started less than 7 days ago, the start time is displayed using
               the ``%a6.15p'' format.  Otherwise, the start time is displayed
               using the ``%e%b%y'' format.

     state     The state is given by a sequence of characters, for example,
               ``RWNA''.  The first character indicates the run state of the

               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).
               J       Marks a process which is in jail(2).  The hostname of
                       the prison can be found in `/proc/<pid>/status'.
               L       Marks a process that is waiting to acquire a lock.
               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
                       requirements and is currently exceeding that limit;
                       such a process is (necessarily) not swapped.
               A       the process has asked for random page replacement
                       (MADV_RANDOM, from madvise(2), for example, lisp in a
                       garbage collect).
               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 has asked for FIFO page replacement
                       (MADV_SEQUENTIAL, from madvise(2), for example, a large
                       image processing program using virtual memory to
                       sequentially address voluminous data).
               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 three letters
               following /dev/tty, or, for the console, ``con''.  This is
               followed by a ``-'' if the process can no longer reach that
               controlling terminal (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>''.  The ps utility 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 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)
     args       command and arguments
     comm       command
     command    command and arguments
     cpu        short-term cpu usage factor (for scheduling)
     etime      elapsed running time
     flags      the process flags, in hexadecimal (alias f)
     inblk      total blocks read (alias inblock)
     jobc       job control count
     ktrace     tracing flags
     label      MAC label
     lim        memoryuse limit
     logname    login name of user who started the process
     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)
     lockname   lock currently blocked on (as a symbolic name)
     mwchan     wait channel or lock currently blocked on
     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)
     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     group name (from rgid)
     rlink      reverse link on run queue, or 0
     rss        resident set size
     rtprio     realtime priority (101 = not a realtime process)
     ruid       real user ID
     ruser      user name (from ruid)
     sid        session ID
     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
     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
     tsid       control terminal session ID
     tsiz       text size (in Kbytes)
     tt         control terminal name (two letter abbreviation)
     tty        full name of control terminal
     uprocp     process pointer
     ucomm      name to be used for accounting
     uid        effective user ID
     upr        scheduling priority on return from system call (alias usrpri)
     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)

     The following environment variables affect the execution of ps:

     COLUMNS      If set, specifies the user's preferred output width in
                  column positions.  By default, ps attempts to automatically
                  determine the terminal width.

     /dev/kmem              default kernel memory
     /dev/lomac             interface used to query the lomac(4) KLD
     /var/run/dev.db        /dev name database
     /var/db/kvm_kernel.db  system namelist database
     /boot/kernel/kernel    default system namelist
     /proc                  the mount point of procfs(5)

     kill(1), w(1), kvm(3), strftime(3), lomac(4), procfs(5), pstat(8),
     sysctl(8), mutex(9)

     The ps command appeared in Version 4 AT&T UNIX.

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

FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE         April 18, 1994         FreeBSD 11.0-PRERELEASE


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help