July 15, 2024

Process monitoring and information gathering in Linux

Overall you have two ways to monitor processes at Linux host

  1. Static monitoring
  2. Interactive monitoring

Static monitoring

The most widely used command is ps (i.e., process status) command is used to provide information about the currently running processes, including their process identification numbers (PIDs).

Here a few useful options to gather specific information.

List processes in a hierarchy

$ ps -e -o pid,args --forest

List processes sorted by % CPU usage

$ ps -e -o pcpu,cpu,nice,state,cputime,args --sort pcpu | sed '/^ 0.0 /d'

List processes sorted by mem (KB) usage.

$ ps -e -orss=,args= | sort -b -k1,1n | pr -TW$COLUMNS

List all threads for a particular process (“firefox-bin” process in example )

$ ps -C firefox-bin -L -o pid,tid,pcpu,state

After finding a specific process you can gather information related to it using lsof to list paths that process id has open

$ lsof -p $$

Or based on path find out list processes that have specified path open

$ lsof ~

Interactive monitoring

Most commonly known tool for dynamic monitoring is:

$ top

That mostly default command that has a huge amount of options to filter and represent information in real-time (in comparison to ps command.

Still, there are more advanced options that can be considered and installed as top replacement

$ htop -d 5


$ atop

Which has the ability to log all the activities into a log file (default atop will log all the activity on every 600 seconds) To this list there are few specialized commands as iotop or iftop

$ sudo iotop

Vedant Kumar

Currently I'm working as an Implementation Engineer, Started my career as an System Administrator - Linux. Additionally loves to explore new technologies and research about new open-source software that ease the development cycle.

View all posts by Vedant Kumar →

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