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PS(1) FreeBSD General Commands Manual PS(1)

ps
process status

ps [
--libxo
] [
-aCcdefHhjlmrSTuvwXxZ
] [
-O fmt | -o fmt
] [
-G gid[
,gid...
]
] [
-J jid[
,jid...
]
] [
-M core
] [
-N system
] [
-p pid[
,pid...
]
] [
-t tty[
,tty...
]
] [
-U user[
,user...
]
]

ps [
--libxo
] [
-L
]

The ps utility displays a header line, followed by lines containing information about all of your processes that have controlling terminals. If the -x options is specified, ps will also display processes that do not have controlling terminals.
A different set of processes can be selected for display by using any combination of the -a, -G, -J, -p, -T, -t, and -U options. If more than one of these options are given, then ps will select all processes which are matched by at least one of the given options.
For the processes which have been selected for display, ps will usually display one line per process. The -H option may result in multiple output lines (one line per thread) for some processes. By default all of these output lines are sorted first by controlling terminal, then by process ID. The -m, -r, -u, and -v options will change the sort order. If more than one sorting option was given, then the selected processes will be sorted by the last sorting option which was specified.
For the processes which have been selected for display, the information to display 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, state, CPU time (including both user and system time) and associated command.
If the ps process is associated with a terminal, the default output width is that of the terminal; otherwise the output width is unlimited. See also the -w option.
The options are as follows:
Generate output via libxo(3) in a selection of different human and machine readable formats. See xo_parse_args(3) for details on command line arguments.
Display information about other users' processes as well as your own. If the security.bsd.see_other_uids sysctl is set to zero, this option is honored only if the UID of the user is 0.
Change the “command” column output to just contain the executable name, rather than the full command line.
Change the way the CPU percentage is calculated by using a “raw” CPU calculation that ignores “resident” time (this normally has no effect).
Arrange processes into descendancy order and prefix each command with indentation text showing sibling and parent/child relationships as a tree. If either of the -m and -r options are also used, they control how sibling processes are sorted relative to each other. Note that this option has no effect if the “command” column is not the last column displayed.
Display the environment as well.
Show command-line and environment information about swapped out processes. This option is honored only if the UID of the user is 0.
Display information about processes which are running with the specified real group IDs.
Show all of the threads associated with each process.
Repeat the information header as often as necessary to guarantee one header per page of information.
Print information associated with the following keywords: user, pid, ppid, pgid, sid, jobc, state, tt, time, and command.
Display information about processes which match the specified jail IDs. This may be either the jid or name of the jail. Use -J 0 to display only host processes. This flag implies -x by default.
List the set of keywords available for the -O and -o options.
Display information associated with the following keywords: uid, pid, ppid, cpu, pri, nice, vsz, rss, mwchan, state, tt, time, and command.
Extract values associated with the name list from the specified core instead of the currently running system.
Sort by memory usage, instead of the combination of controlling terminal and process ID.
Extract the name list from the specified system instead of the default, which is the kernel image the system has booted from.
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.
Display information associated with the space or comma separated list of keywords specified. The last keyword in the list may be appended with an equals (‘=’) sign and a string that spans the rest of the argument, and can contain space and comma characters. This causes the printed header to use the specified string instead of the standard header. Multiple keywords may also be given in the form of more than one -o option. So the header texts for multiple keywords can be changed. If all keywords have empty header texts, no header line is written.
Display information about processes which match the specified process IDs.
Sort by current CPU usage, instead of the combination of controlling terminal and process ID.
Change the way the process times, namely cputime, systime, and usertime, are calculated by summing all exited children to their parent process.
Display information about processes attached to the device associated with the standard input.
Display information about processes attached to the specified terminal devices. Full pathnames, as well as abbreviations (see explanation of the tt keyword) can be specified.
Display the processes belonging to the specified usernames.
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.
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.
Use at least 132 columns to display information, instead of the default which is the window size if ps is associated with a terminal. If the -w option is specified more than once, ps will use as many columns as necessary without regard for the window size. Note that this option has no effect if the “command” column is not the last column displayed.
When displaying processes matched by other options, skip any processes which do not have a controlling terminal. This is the default behaviour.
When displaying processes matched by other options, include processes which do not have a controlling terminal. This is the opposite of the -X option. If both -X and -x are specified in the same command, then ps will use the one which was specified last.
Add mac(4) label to the list of keywords for which ps will display information.
A complete list of the available keywords are listed below. Some of these keywords are further specified as follows:
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%.
The percentage of real memory used by this process.
Login class associated with the process.
The flags associated with the process as in the include file <sys/proc.h>:
Process may hold a POSIX advisory lock
Has a controlling terminal
Kernel process
Parent is waiting for child to exec/exit
Has started profiling
Has thread in requesting to stop prof
Has had threads (no cleanup shortcuts)
Had set id privileges since last exec
System proc: no sigs, stats or swapping
Threads suspending should exit, not wait
Debugged process being traced
Someone is waiting for us
Working on exiting
Process called exec
Killed, shall go to kernel/user boundary ASAP
Proc has continued from a stopped state
Stopped due to SIGSTOP/SIGTSTP
Stopped because of tracing
Only one thread can continue
Do not kill on memory overcommit
Process pending signals changed
Threads should suspend at user boundary
Process is using HWPMCs
Process is in jail
Stopped for system suspend
Process is in execve()
Child process stopped or exited
Loaded into memory
Process is being swapped out
Process is being swapped in
Vforked child issued ptrace(PT_TRACEME)
The flags kept in p_flag2 associated with the process as in the include file <sys/proc.h>:
New children get P_PROTECTED
No ptrace(2) attach or coredumps
Keep P2_NOPTRACE on exec(2)
Handles SU ast for kthreads
SIGSTOP from PT_ATTACH not yet handled
The MAC label of the process.
The soft limit on memory used, specified via a call to setrlimit(2).
The exact time the command started, using the ‘%c’ format described in strftime(3).
The name of the lock that the process is currently blocked on. If the name is invalid or unknown, then “???” is displayed.
The login name associated with the session the process is in (see getlogin(2)).
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.
The process scheduling increment (see setpriority(2)).
the real memory (resident set) size of the process (in 1024 byte units).
The time the command started. If the command started less than 24 hours ago, the start time is displayed using the “%H:%M” format described in strftime(3). If the command started less than 7 days ago, the start time is displayed using the “%a%H” format. Otherwise, the start time is displayed using the “%e%b%y” format.
The state is given by a sequence of characters, for example, “RWNA”. The first character indicates the run state of the process:
Marks a process in disk (or other short term, uninterruptible) wait.
Marks a process that is idle (sleeping for longer than about 20 seconds).
Marks a process that is waiting to acquire a lock.
Marks a runnable process.
Marks a process that is sleeping for less than about 20 seconds.
Marks a stopped process.
Marks an idle interrupt thread.
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 is in capsicum(4) capability mode.
The process is trying to exit.
Marks a process which is in jail(2). The hostname of the prison can be found in /proc/pid/status.
The process has pages locked in core (for example, for raw I/O).
The process has reduced CPU scheduling priority (see setpriority(2)).
The process is a session leader.
The process' parent is suspended during a vfork(2), waiting for the process to exec or exit.
The process is swapped out.
The process is being traced or debugged.
An abbreviation for the pathname of the controlling terminal, if any. The abbreviation consists of the three letters following /dev/tty, or, for pseudo-terminals, the corresponding entry in /dev/pts. This is followed by a ‘-’ if the process can no longer reach that controlling terminal (i.e., it has been revoked). A ‘-’ without a preceding two letter abbreviation or pseudo-terminal device number indicates a process which never had a controlling terminal. The full pathname of the controlling terminal is available via the tty keyword.
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>”. If the arguments cannot be located (usually because it has not been set, as is the case of system processes and/or kernel threads) the command name is printed within square brackets. The ps utility first tries to obtain the arguments cached by the kernel (if they were shorter than the value of the kern.ps_arg_cache_limit sysctl). The process can change the arguments shown with setproctitle(3). Otherwise, 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. The ucomm (accounting) keyword can, however, be depended on. If the arguments are unavailable or do not agree with the ucomm keyword, the value for the ucomm keyword is appended to the arguments in parentheses.

The following is a complete list of the available keywords and their meanings. Several of them have aliases (keywords which are synonyms).
percentage CPU usage (alias pcpu)
percentage memory usage (alias pmem)
accounting flag (alias acflg)
command and arguments
login class
command
command and arguments
number of copy-on-write faults
short-term CPU usage factor (for scheduling)
data size (in Kbytes)
system-call emulation environment (ABI)
elapsed running time, format [
days-
][
hours:
]minutes:seconds.
elapsed running time, in decimal integer seconds
default FIB number, see setfib(1)
the process flags, in hexadecimal (alias f)
the additional set of process flags, in hexadecimal (alias f2)
effective group ID (alias egid)
group name (from egid) (alias egroup)
total blocks read (alias inblock)
jail name
jail ID
job control count
tracing flags
MAC label
memoryuse limit
lock currently blocked on (as a symbolic name)
login name of user who started the session
time started
thread (light-weight process) ID (alias tid)
total page faults
total page reclaims
total messages received (reads from pipes/sockets)
total messages sent (writes on pipes/sockets)
wait channel or lock currently blocked on
nice value (alias ni)
total involuntary context switches
number of threads (light-weight processes) tied to a process
total signals taken (alias nsignals)
total swaps in/out
total voluntary context switches
wait channel (as an address)
total blocks written (alias oublock)
process pointer
pageins (same as majflt)
process group number
process ID
parent process ID
scheduling priority
core residency time (in seconds; 127 = infinity)
real group ID
group name (from rgid)
resident set size
realtime priority (101 = not a realtime process)
real user ID
user name (from ruid)
session ID
pending signals (alias pending)
caught signals (alias caught)
ignored signals (alias ignored)
blocked signals (alias blocked)
sleep time (in seconds; 127 = infinity)
stack size (in Kbytes)
time started
symbolic process state (alias stat)
saved gid from a setgid executable
saved UID from a setuid executable
accumulated system CPU time
thread address
thread name
control terminal device number
accumulated CPU time, user + system (alias cputime)
control terminal process group ID
tracer process ID
control terminal session ID
text size (in Kbytes)
control terminal name (two letter abbreviation)
full name of control terminal
name to be used for accounting
effective user ID (alias euid)
scheduling priority on return from system call (alias usrpri)
process pointer
user name (from UID)
accumulated user CPU time
vmspace pointer
virtual size in Kbytes (alias vsize)
wait channel (as a symbolic name)
exit or stop status (valid only for stopped or zombie process)
Note that the pending column displays bitmask of signals pending in the process queue when -H option is not specified, otherwise the per-thread queue of pending signals is shown.

The following environment variables affect the execution of ps:
If set, specifies the user's preferred output width in column positions. By default, ps attempts to automatically determine the terminal width.

/boot/kernel/kernel
default system namelist

Display information on all system processes:
$ ps -auxw

kill(1), pgrep(1), pkill(1), procstat(1), w(1), kvm(3), libxo(3), strftime(3), xo_parse_args(3), mac(4), procfs(5), pstat(8), sysctl(8), mutex(9)

For historical reasons, the ps utility under FreeBSD supports a different set of options from what is described by IEEE Std 1003.2 (“POSIX.2”), and what is supported on non-BSD operating systems.

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

Since ps cannot run faster than the system and is run as any other scheduled process, the information it displays can never be exact.
The ps utility does not correctly display argument lists containing multibyte characters.
March 13, 2018 FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE

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