How do I see the current processes?
Author: Deron Eriksson
Description: This Linux tutorial demonstrates how to view the current processes.
Tutorial created using: CentOS release 4.6

The "ps" command can be used to see the current processes in Linux. The "top" command can be used to display the current processes in a dynamically updating fashion. You can think of ps as taking a snapshot of the current processes, and top as showing a movie of the current processes.

The "ps" command by itself generates rather simple output. The "-l" switch displays a long output format, which supplies additional information that can be useful.

ps commands

The "-A" switch can be used to display all processes. Here, we can se "ps -Al", which displays all processes in long format. The "ps -Al" command is piped to "more" so that the results are displayed in pages.

ps -Al | more

Below, we can see the execution of the "top" command. Notice that a "grep" command is using 25% of the CPU when this screenshot was taken.

the 'top' command

The "ps" and "top" commands are very useful. For more information about them, I recommend "ps --help", "man ps", and "man top".