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Linux Pocket Guide, 2nd Edition by Daniel J. Barrett

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Viewing Processes

ps

List process.

uptime

View the system load.

w

List active processes for all users.

top

Monitor resource-intensive processes interactively.

gnome-system-monitor

Monitor system load and processes graphically.

xload

Simple, graphical monitor of system load.

free

Display free memory.

A process is a unit of work on a Linux system. Each program you run represents one or more processes, and Linux provides commands for viewing and manipulating them. Every process is identified by a numeric process ID, or PID.

Processes are different from jobs (see Shell Job Control): processes are part of the operating system, whereas jobs are higher-level constructs known only to the shell in which they’re running. A running program comprises one or more processes; a job consists of one or more programs executed as a shell command.

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