STANDARD FORMAT SPECIFIERS for the PS Process Status command.

Here are the different keywords that may be used to control the output format (e.g., with option -o) or to sort the selected
processes with the GNU-style --sort option.

For example: ps -eo pid,user,args --sort user

This version of ps tries to recognize most of the keywords used in other implementations of ps.

The following user-defined format specifiers may contain spaces:
args, cmd, comm, command, fname, ucmd, ucomm, lstart, bsdstart, start.

Some keywords may not be available for sorting.

       CODE        HEADER    DESCRIPTION

       %cpu        %CPU      cpu utilization of the process in "##.#"
                             format.  Currently, it is the CPU time used
                             divided by the time the process has been
                             running (cputime/realtime ratio), expressed as
                             a percentage.  It will not add up to 100%
                             unless you are lucky.  (alias pcpu).

       %mem        %MEM      ratio of the process's resident set size  to
                             the physical memory on the machine, expressed
                             as a percentage.  (alias pmem).

       args        COMMAND   command with all its arguments as a string.
                             Modifications to the arguments may be shown.
                             The output in this column may contain spaces.
                             A process marked  is partly dead,
                             waiting to be fully destroyed by its parent.
                             Sometimes the process args will be unavailable;
                             when this happens, ps will instead print the
                             executable name in brackets.  (alias cmd,
                             command).  See also the comm format keyword,
                             the -f option, and the c option.
                             When specified last, this column will extend to
                             the edge of the display.  If ps can not
                             determine display width, as when output is
                             redirected (piped) into a file or another
                             command, the output width is undefined (it may
                             be 80, unlimited, determined by the TERM
                             variable, and so on).  The COLUMNS environment
                             variable or --cols option may be used to
                             exactly determine the width in this case.  The
                             w or -w option may be also be used to adjust
                             width.

       blocked     BLOCKED   mask of the blocked signals, see signal(7).
                             According to the width of the field, a 32 or
                             64-bit mask in hexadecimal format is displayed.
                             (alias sig_block, sigmask).

       bsdstart    START     time the command started.  If the process was
                             started less than 24 hours ago, the output
                             format is " HH:MM", else it is " Mmm:SS" (where
                             Mmm is the three letters of the month).  See
                             also lstart, start, start_time, and stime.

       bsdtime     TIME      accumulated cpu time, user + system.  The
                             display format is usually "MMM:SS", but can be
                             shifted to the right if the process used more
                             than 999 minutes of cpu time.

       c           C         processor utilization.  Currently, this is the
                             integer value of the percent usage over the
                             lifetime of the process.  (see %cpu).

       caught      CAUGHT    mask of the caught signals, see signal(7).
                             According to the width of the field, a 32 or 64
                             bits mask in hexadecimal format is displayed.
                             (alias sig_catch, sigcatch).

       cgname      CGNAME    display name of control groups to which the
                             process belongs.

       cgroup      CGROUP    display control groups to which the process
                             belongs.

       class       CLS       scheduling class of the process.  (alias
                             policy, cls).  Field's possible values are:

                                      -   not reported
                                      TS  SCHED_OTHER
                                      FF  SCHED_FIFO
                                      RR  SCHED_RR
                                      B   SCHED_BATCH
                                      ISO SCHED_ISO
                                      IDL SCHED_IDLE
                                      DLN SCHED_DEADLINE
                                      ?   unknown value

       cls         CLS       scheduling class of the process.  (alias
                             policy, cls).  Field's possible values are:

                                      -   not reported
                                      TS  SCHED_OTHER
                                      FF  SCHED_FIFO
                                      RR  SCHED_RR
                                      B   SCHED_BATCH
                                      ISO SCHED_ISO
                                      IDL SCHED_IDLE
                                      DLN SCHED_DEADLINE
                                      ?   unknown value

       cmd         CMD       see args.  (alias args, command).

       comm        COMMAND   command name (only the executable name).
                             Modifications to the command name will not be
                             shown.  A process marked  is partly
                             dead, waiting to be fully destroyed by its
                             parent.  The output in this column may contain
                             spaces.  (alias ucmd, ucomm).  See also the
                             args format keyword, the -f option, and the c
                             option.
                             When specified last, this column will extend to
                             the edge of the display.  If ps can not
                             determine display width, as when output is
                             redirected (piped) into a file or another
                             command, the output width is undefined (it may
                             be 80, unlimited, determined by the TERM
                             variable, and so on).  The COLUMNS environment
                             variable or --cols option may be used to
                             exactly determine the width in this case.  The
                             w or -w option may be also be used to adjust
                             width.

       command     COMMAND   See args.  (alias args, command).

       cp          CP        per-mill (tenths of a percent) CPU usage.  (see
                             %cpu).

       cputime     TIME      cumulative CPU time, "[DD-]hh:mm:ss" format.
                             (alias time).

       cputimes    TIME      cumulative CPU time in seconds (alias times).

       drs         DRS       data resident set size, the amount of physical
                             memory devoted to other than executable code.

       egid        EGID      effective group ID number of the process as a
                             decimal integer.  (alias gid).

       egroup      EGROUP    effective group ID of the process.  This will
                             be the textual group ID, if it can be obtained
                             and the field width permits, or a decimal
                             representation otherwise.  (alias group).

       eip         EIP       instruction pointer.

       esp         ESP       stack pointer.

       etime       ELAPSED   elapsed time since the process was started, in
                             the form [[DD-]hh:]mm:ss.

       etimes      ELAPSED   elapsed time since the process was started, in
                             seconds.

       euid        EUID      effective user ID (alias uid).

       euser       EUSER     effective user name.  This will be the textual
                             user ID, if it can be obtained and the field
                             width permits, or a decimal representation
                             otherwise.  The n option can be used to force
                             the decimal representation.  (alias uname,
                             user).

       f           F         flags associated with the process, see the
                             PROCESS FLAGS section.  (alias flag, flags).

       fgid        FGID      filesystem access group ID.  (alias fsgid).

       fgroup      FGROUP    filesystem access group ID.  This will be the
                             textual group ID, if it can be obtained and the
                             field width permits, or a decimal
                             representation otherwise.  (alias fsgroup).

       flag        F         see f.  (alias f, flags).

       flags       F         see f.  (alias f, flag).

       fname       COMMAND   first 8 bytes of the base name of the process's
                             executable file.  The output in this column may
                             contain spaces.

       fuid        FUID      filesystem access user ID.  (alias fsuid).

       fuser       FUSER     filesystem access user ID.  This will be the
                             textual user ID, if it can be obtained and the
                             field width permits, or a decimal
                             representation otherwise.

       gid         GID       see egid.  (alias egid).

       group       GROUP     see egroup.  (alias egroup).

       ignored     IGNORED   mask of the ignored signals, see signal(7).
                             According to the width of the field, a 32 or 64
                             bits mask in hexadecimal format is displayed.
                             (alias sig_ignore, sigignore).

       ipcns       IPCNS     Unique inode number describing the namespace
                             the process belongs to.  See namespaces(7).

       label       LABEL     security label, most commonly used for SELinux
                             context data.  This is for the Mandatory Access
                             Control ("MAC") found on high-security systems.

       lstart      STARTED   time the command started.  See also bsdstart,
                             start, start_time, and stime.

       lsession    SESSION   displays the login session identifier of a
                             process, if systemd support has been included.

       luid        LUID      displays Login ID associated with a process.

       lwp         LWP       light weight process (thread) ID of the
                             dispatchable entity (alias spid, tid).  See tid
                             for additional information.

       lxc         LXC       The name of the lxc container within which a
                             task is running.  If a process is not running
                             inside a container, a dash ('-') will be shown.

       machine     MACHINE   displays the machine name for processes
                             assigned to VM or container, if systemd support
                             has been included.

       maj_flt     MAJFLT    The number of major page faults that have
                             occurred with this process.

       min_flt     MINFLT    The number of minor page faults that have
                             occurred with this process.

       mntns       MNTNS     Unique inode number describing the namespace
                             the process belongs to.  See namespaces(7).

       netns       NETNS     Unique inode number describing the namespace
                             the process belongs to.  See namespaces(7).

       ni          NI        nice value.  This ranges from 19 (nicest) to
                             -20 (not nice to others), see nice(1).  (alias
                             nice).

       nice        NI        see ni.(alias ni).

       nlwp        NLWP      number of lwps (threads) in the process.
                             (alias thcount).

       numa        NUMA      The node assocated with the most recently used
                             processor.  A -1 means that NUMA information is
                             unavailable.

       nwchan      WCHAN     address of the kernel function where the
                             process is sleeping (use wchan if you want the
                             kernel function name).  Running tasks will
                             display a dash ('-') in this column.

       ouid        OWNER     displays the Unix user identifier of the owner
                             of the session of a process, if systemd support
                             has been included.

       pcpu        %CPU      see %cpu.  (alias %cpu).

       pending     PENDING   mask of the pending signals.  See signal(7).
                             Signals pending on the process are distinct
                             from signals pending on individual threads.
                             Use the m option or the -m option to see both.
                             According to the width of the field, a 32 or 64
                             bits mask in hexadecimal format is displayed.
                             (alias sig).

       pgid        PGID      process group ID or, equivalently, the process
                             ID of the process group leader.  (alias pgrp).

       pgrp        PGRP      see pgid.  (alias pgid).

       pid         PID       a number representing the process ID (alias
                             tgid).

       pidns       PIDNS     Unique inode number describing the namespace
                             the process belongs to.  See namespaces(7).

       pmem        %MEM      see %mem.  (alias %mem).

       policy      POL       scheduling class of the process.  (alias class,
                             cls).  Possible values are:

                                      -   not reported
                                      TS  SCHED_OTHER
                                      FF  SCHED_FIFO
                                      RR  SCHED_RR
                                      B   SCHED_BATCH
                                      ISO SCHED_ISO
                                      IDL SCHED_IDLE
                                      DLN SCHED_DEADLINE
                                      ?   unknown value

       ppid        PPID      parent process ID.

       pri         PRI       priority of the process.  Higher number means
                             lower priority.

       psr         PSR       processor that process is currently assigned
                             to.

       rgid        RGID      real group ID.

       rgroup      RGROUP    real group name.  This will be the textual
                             group ID, if it can be obtained and the field
                             width permits, or a decimal representation
                             otherwise.

       rss         RSS       resident set size, the non-swapped physical
                             memory that a task has used (in kilobytes).
                             (alias rssize, rsz).

       rssize      RSS       see rss.  (alias rss, rsz).

       rsz         RSZ       see rss.  (alias rss, rssize).

       rtprio      RTPRIO    realtime priority.

       ruid        RUID      real user ID.

       ruser       RUSER     real user ID.  This will be the textual user
                             ID, if it can be obtained and the field width
                             permits, or a decimal representation otherwise.

       s           S         minimal state display (one character).  See
                             section PROCESS STATE CODES for the different
                             values.  See also stat if you want additional
                             information displayed.  (alias state).

       sched       SCH       scheduling policy of the process.  The policies
                             SCHED_OTHER (SCHED_NORMAL), SCHED_FIFO,
                             SCHED_RR, SCHED_BATCH, SCHED_ISO, SCHED_IDLE
                             and SCHED_DEADLINE are respectively displayed
                             as 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

       seat        SEAT      displays the identifier associated with all
                             hardware devices assigned to a specific
                             workplace, if systemd support has been
                             included.

       sess        SESS      session ID or, equivalently, the process ID of
                             the session leader.  (alias session, sid).

       sgi_p       P         processor that the process is currently
                             executing on.  Displays "*" if the process is
                             not currently running or runnable.

       sgid        SGID      saved group ID.  (alias svgid).

       sgroup      SGROUP    saved group name.  This will be the textual
                             group ID, if it can be obtained and the field
                             width permits, or a decimal representation
                             otherwise.

       sid         SID       see sess.  (alias sess, session).

       sig         PENDING   see pending.  (alias pending, sig_pend).

       sigcatch    CAUGHT    see caught.  (alias caught, sig_catch).

       sigignore   IGNORED   see ignored.  (alias ignored, sig_ignore).

       sigmask     BLOCKED   see blocked.  (alias blocked, sig_block).

       size        SIZE      approximate amount of swap space that would be
                             required if the process were to dirty all
                             writable pages and then be swapped out.  This
                             number is very rough!

       slice       SLICE     displays the slice unit which a process belongs
                             to, if systemd support has been included.

       spid        SPID      see lwp.  (alias lwp, tid).

       stackp      STACKP    address of the bottom (start) of stack for the
                             process.

       start       STARTED   time the command started.  If the process was
                             started less than 24 hours ago, the output
                             format is "HH:MM:SS", else it is "  Mmm dd"
                             (where Mmm is a three-letter month name).  See
                             also lstart, bsdstart, start_time, and stime.

       start_time  START     starting time or date of the process.  Only the
                             year will be displayed if the process was not
                             started the same year ps was invoked, or
                             "MmmDD" if it was not started the same day, or
                             "HH:MM" otherwise.  See also bsdstart, start,
                             lstart, and stime.

       stat        STAT      multi-character process state.  See section
                             PROCESS STATE CODES for the different values
                             meaning.  See also s and state if you just want
                             the first character displayed.

       state       S         see s. (alias s).

       suid        SUID      saved user ID.  (alias svuid).

       supgid      SUPGID    group ids of supplementary groups, if any.  See
                             getgroups(2).

       supgrp      SUPGRP    group names of supplementary groups, if any.
                             See getgroups(2).

       suser       SUSER     saved user name.  This will be the textual user
                             ID, if it can be obtained and the field width
                             permits, or a decimal representation otherwise.
                             (alias svuser).

       svgid       SVGID     see sgid.  (alias sgid).

       svuid       SVUID     see suid.  (alias suid).

       sz          SZ        size in physical pages of the core image of the
                             process.  This includes text, data, and stack
                             space.  Device mappings are currently excluded;
                             this is subject to change.  See vsz and rss.

       tgid        TGID      a number representing the thread group to which
                             a task belongs (alias pid).  It is the process
                             ID of the thread group leader.

       thcount     THCNT     see nlwp.  (alias nlwp).  number of kernel
                             threads owned by the process.

       tid         TID       the unique number representing a dispatchable
                             entity (alias lwp, spid).  This value may also
                             appear as: a process ID (pid); a process group
                             ID (pgrp); a session ID for the session leader
                             (sid); a thread group ID for the thread group
                             leader (tgid); and a tty process group ID for
                             the process group leader (tpgid).

       time        TIME      cumulative CPU time, "[DD-]HH:MM:SS" format.
                             (alias cputime).

       times       TIME      cumulative CPU time in seconds (alias
                             cputimes).

       tname       TTY       controlling tty (terminal).  (alias tt, tty).

       tpgid       TPGID     ID of the foreground process group on the tty
                             (terminal) that the process is connected to, or
                             -1 if the process is not connected to a tty.

       trs         TRS       text resident set size, the amount of physical
                             memory devoted to executable code.

       tt          TT        controlling tty (terminal).  (alias tname,
                             tty).

       tty         TT        controlling tty (terminal).  (alias tname, tt).

       ucmd        CMD       see comm.  (alias comm, ucomm).

       ucomm       COMMAND   see comm.  (alias comm, ucmd).

       uid         UID       see euid.  (alias euid).

       uname       USER      see euser.  (alias euser, user).

       unit        UNIT      displays unit which a process belongs to, if
                             systemd support has been included.

       user        USER      see euser.  (alias euser, uname).

       userns      USERNS    Unique inode number describing the namespace
                             the process belongs to.  See namespaces(7).

       utsns       UTSNS     Unique inode number describing the namespace
                             the process belongs to.  See namespaces(7).

       uunit       UUNIT     displays user unit which a process belongs to,
                             if systemd support has been included.

       vsize       VSZ       see vsz.  (alias vsz).

       vsz         VSZ       virtual memory size of the process in KiB
                             (1024-byte units).  Device mappings are
                             currently excluded; this is subject to change.
                             (alias vsize).

       wchan       WCHAN     name of the kernel function in which the
                             process is sleeping, a "-" if the process is
                             running, or a "*" if the process is
                             multi-threaded and ps is not displaying
                             threads.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES

       The following environment variables can affect ps:

       COLUMNS              Override default display width
       LINES                Override default display height
       PS_PERSONALITY       Set to one of posix,old,linux,bsd,sun,digital
       CMD_ENV              Set to one of posix,old,linux,bsd,sun,digital
       I_WANT_A_BROKEN_PS   Force obsolete command line interpretation
       LC_TIME              Date format
       PS_FORMAT            Default output format override
       POSIXLY_CORRECT      Don't find excuses to ignore bad "features"
       POSIX2               When set to "on", acts as POSIXLY_CORRECT.
       UNIX95               Don't find excuses to ignore bad "features"
       _XPG                 Cancel CMD_ENV=irix non-standard behavior

In general, it is a bad idea to set these variables. The two exceptions are CMD_ENV (or PS_PERSONALITY), to set the desired default personality, and POSIXLY_CORRECT (or UNIX95), which should be set for Unix98 standard compliance.

       PS_PERSONALITY   Description
       none             "Do the right thing"
       390              like the OS/390 OpenEdition ps
       aix              like AIX ps
       bsd              like FreeBSD ps
       compaq           like Digital Unix ps
       debian           like the old Debian ps
       digital          like Tru64 (was Digital Unix, was OSF/1) ps
       gnu              like the old Debian ps
       hp               like HP-UX ps
       hpux             like HP-UX ps
       irix             like Irix ps
       linux      ***** recommended *****
       old              like the original Linux ps (totally non-standard)
       os390            like OS/390 Open Edition ps
       posix            standard
       s390             like OS/390 Open Edition ps
       sco              like SCO ps
       sgi              like Irix ps
       solaris2         like Solaris 2+ (SunOS 5) ps
       sunos4           like SunOS 4 (Solaris 1) ps (totally non-standard)
       svr4             standard
       sysv             standard
       tru64            like Tru64 (was Digital Unix, was OSF/1) ps
       unix             standard
       unix95           standard
       unix98           standard

OBSOLETE SORT KEYS

These keys are used by the BSD O option (when it is used for sorting).
The GNU --sort option doesn't use these keys, but the specifiers described above in the STANDARD FORMAT SPECIFIERS section.
Values used in sorting are the internal values ps uses (not 'cooked' values).
If you want to sort by a 'cooked' value pipe the output into sort .

       c     cmd          simple name of executable
       C     cmdline      full command line
       f     flags        flags as in long format F field
       g     pgrp         process group ID
       G     tpgid        controlling tty process group ID
       j     cutime       cumulative user time
       J     cstime       cumulative system time
       k     utime        user time
       K     stime        system time
       m     min_flt      number of minor page faults
       M     maj_flt      number of major page faults
       n     cmin_flt     cumulative minor page faults
       N     cmaj_flt     cumulative major page faults
       o     session      session ID
       p     pid          process ID
       P     ppid         parent process ID
       r     rss          resident set size
       R     resident     resident pages
       s     size         memory size in kilobytes
       S     share        amount of shared pages
       t     tty          the minor device number of tty
       T     start_time   time process was started
       U     uid          user ID number
       u     user         user name
       v     vsize        total VM size in bytes
       y     priority     kernel scheduling priority

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death" ~ Anaïs Nin

Related linux commands:

ps - Process status.
top - List running processes on the system.
pstree(1) proc(5)
Equivalent Windows command: pslist - List processes


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