How To View Processes In Linux

One of the most critical and fundamental aspects of managing a Linux system is being able to view and control running processes. Whether you’re trying to find out why your system is running slowly, or trying to kill a rogue process, understanding how to manage processes in Linux is essential. This guide will show you how to use the various tools available to monitor and control processes.

What are Processes?

A process in Linux is simply an instance of a running program. Every process has an associated process ID, or PID, which is used to reference the process in various commands. Processes also have other associated information, like their current status (whether they’re running, sleeping, etc.), how much CPU or memory they’re using, and more.

Viewing Processes with “ps”

The most basic command for viewing processes in Linux is ps. The ps (process status) command is used to provide information about the currently running processes, including their PIDs.

To view your currently running processes, you can simply type:


This will list all processes currently running in your current terminal session. To see every process on the system, you can use the -e or -A option, like so:

    ps -e


    ps -A

Viewing Processes with “top”

While ps is a powerful tool, it’s somewhat static. If you want a continuously updating view of the running processes, you can use the top command. The top command provides a real-time view of the system’s current state including details on CPU usage, memory usage, and much more.

To run top, simply type:



Understanding how to view and manage processes is a crucial part of Linux system administration. By using the ps and top commands, you can see what’s happening on your system in real-time and manage processes effectively. Remember to consider the importance of each process before deciding to kill it or change its priority.