pcp-ps - Man Page

Report statistics for Linux Process.


pcp [pcp options] ps [-e] [-U [username]] [-V --version] [-c Command name] [-p pid1,pid2..] [-p pid1,pid2..] [-o col1,col2... or ALL] [-Z timezone] [-z] [-?]


The pcp-ps command is used for monitoring individual process running on the system. Using various options it helps a user to see useful information related to the processes. This information includes CPU percentage, memory and stack usage, scheduling and priority. By default pcp-ps reports live data for the local host.


When invoked via the pcp(1) command, the -h/--host, -O/--origin, -t/--interval, -Z/--timezone and several other pcp options become indirectly available; refer to PCPIntro(1) for a complete description of these options.

The additional command line options available for pcp-ps are:


Display all the process.

      Process idenfier.

      The termianl assoicated with the prcoess.

      The  cumulated CPU time in [DD-]hh:mm:ss format (time=TIME).

      The command name of the task.

-c [command name]

Display the real Command name of the tasks being monitored instead of the UID. If command name is specified, then only tasks belonging to the specified command are displayed.

-U [username], --user-name[=username]

Display the real user name of the tasks being monitored instead of the UID. If username is specified, then only tasks belonging to the specified user are displayed.

-V,  --version

Print version number then exit.

-p pid1,pid2.., --pid-list=pid1,pid2..

Display only processes with the listed PIDs.

-P ppid1,ppid2.., --ppid-list=ppid1,ppid2..

Display only processes with the listed PPIDs.


User-defined format.

It is a single argument in the form of a blank-separated or comma-separated list, which offers a way to specify individual output columns.

The argument to -o are following:

COL      HEADER           Description
%cpu    %CPU            cpu utilization of the process
%mem    %MEM            physical memory on the machine expressed as a percentage
start   START           time the command started
time    TIME            accumulated cpu time, user + system
cls     CLS             scheduling class of the process
cmd     CMD             see args.  (alias args, command).
pid     PID             The process ID
ppid    PPID            Parent process ID
pri     PRI             Priority of the process
state   S               see s
rss     RSS             the non-swapped physical memory that a task has used
rtprio  RTPRIO          realtime priority
pname   Pname           Process name
tty     TT              controlling tty (terminal)
uid     UID             see euid
vsize   VSZ             see vsz
uname   USER            see euser
wchan   WCHAN           name of the kernel function in which the process is sleeping

Standard Format Specifiers

Here are the different keywords that may be used to control the output format (e.g. with option -o) or to sort the selected processes

For example: ps -o pid,user,args

CODE       HEADER        Description
pid        PID           a number representing the process ID
%cpu       %CPU          cpu utilization of the process in "##.#" format.
                        Currently, it is the CPU time used divided by the time the
                        process has been running (cputime/realtime ratio), expressed as a percentage.
%mem       %MEM          ratio of the process's resident set size  to the physical memory on the
                        machine, expressed as a percentage.
args       COMMAND       Command with all its arguments as a string. Modifications to the arguments
                        may be shown.  The output in this column may contain spaces.  A process
                        marked <defunct> is partly dead, waiting to be fully destroyed by its parent.
                        Sometimes the process args will be unavailable; when this happens,will instead print the executable name in brackets.
class      CLS           scheduling class of the process.
                          Field's possible values are:
                           -      not reported
                           TS     SCHED_OTHER
                           FF     SCHED_FIFO
                           RR     SCHED_RR
                           B      SCHED_BATCH
                           ISO    SCHED_ISO
                           IDL    SCHED_IDLE
                           DLN    SCHED_DEADLINE
                           ?      unknown value
s          S             minimal state display.See also stat if you want additional information displayed.
euid       EUID          effective user ID.
vsz        VSZ           virtual memory size of the process in KiB (1024-byte units).Device mappings are currently excluded; this is subject to change.
euser      EUSER         effective user name.  This will be the textual user ID, if it can be obtained and the field width permits, or a decimal representation otherwise.

      ALL option shows USER,PID,PPID,PRI,%CPU,%MEM,VSZ,RSS,S,STARTED,TIME,WCHAN and Command by default

-Z timezone, --timezone=timezone

By default, pcp-ps reports the time of day according to the local timezone on the system where pcp-ps is run. The -Z option changes the timezone to timezone in the format of the environment variable TZ as described in environ(7).

-z , --hostzone

Change the reporting timezone to the local timezone at the host that is the source of the performance metrics. When replaying a PCP archive that was captured in a foreign timezone, the -z option would almost always be used (the default reporting timezone is the local timezone, which may not be the same as the timezone of the PCP archive).

-? , --help

Display usage message and exit.


pcp-ps is inspired by the ps(1) command and aims to be command line and output compatible with it.

PCP Environment

Environment variables with the prefix PCP_ are used to parameterize the file and directory names used by PCP. On each installation, the file /etc/pcp.conf contains the local values for these variables. The $PCP_CONF variable may be used to specify an alternative configuration file, as described in pcp.conf(5).

For environment variables affecting PCP tools, see pmGetOptions(3).

See Also

PCPIntro(1), pcp(1), pcp-ps(1), python(1), pmParseInterval(3), strftime(3) and environ(7).


PCP Performance Co-Pilot