Monitoring and terminating processes at the command line

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Innumerable processes may be running on your Linux system. We’ll show you how to halt, continue, or kill tasks, and we’ll examine how to send the remnants of crashed programs to the happy hunting grounds.

What exactly is your Linux system doing right now? Which programs and processes are running in the background? Which application is accessing the CD-ROM drive? And how can you terminate a process if it won’t die gracefully? In this article, we'll explore some answers to these eternal questions. Listing Processes with ps

The ps program outputs a list of active processes. Running ps without specifying any options gives a list of applications running in the current shell. If you need more information, you can specify some of the tool’s impressive collection of options. As the manpage tells you, ps understands Unix parameters with a simple dash, BSD options without a dash, and GNU options with two dashes.

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