Linux Basics

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Find information about processes

While a program is running, it is called a process. A process is uniquely identified by PID - process id. To find out the information about all the processes, you can use the following commands: pstree, top, ps.

ps lists the processes of the system. Without any arguments, it lists only your processes. To see all of the processes by all users, run

ps aux


option a displays the processes of all users and not just our own,

option u displays information in user-oriented format and

option x displays the processes running without a controlling terminal. When you run the above command, you can see many ? sign in column TTY(Terminal Type). So, x displays these processes. These processes are mainly background processes.

The first column mentions the user id who has started the process.

To continuously monitor all processes, use the top command. This command is usually used to monitor which processes are running, taking up most CPU or Memory.


You can run ps with the above options separately, to understand the use of a particular option better.

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