Observing Processes

The Solaris operating system offers a state-of-the-art array of process analysis tools. Introduced initially with the Solaris 8 release, they are collectively dubbed “p-tools” because they all start with the letter p. The p-tools all use the /proc file system to report on or manage the various aspects of any live process; most of them require a PID as an argument. When a p-tool executes, it reads (or changes) data in the process’s own data structure. The actions it performs may therefore require superuser or process owner privileges to complete.

The p-tools reside in the /usr/bin directory along with many other utilities that begin with p. It’s not easy to pick them out visually, so Table 7-2 lists them all along with a brief ...

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