GNU/Linux Getting System Information Process monitoring and information gathering


Overall you have two ways to monitor processes at linux host

Static monitoring

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 few useful options to gather specific informations.

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 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 have huge amount options to filter and represent information in real time (in comparison to ps command.

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

$ htop -d 5


$ atop 

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

$ sudo iotop