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pidof - Man Page

find the process ID of a running program

Examples (TL;DR)


pidof [-s] [-c] [-q] [-w] [-x] [-o omitpid[,omitpid...]...] [-t] [-S separator] program [program...]


Pidof finds the process id's (pids) of the named programs. It prints those id's on the standard output.



Single shot - this instructs the program to only return one pid.


Only return process ids that are running with the same root directory. This option is ignored for non-root users, as they will be unable to check the current root directory of processes they do not own.


Quiet mode, suppress any output and only sets the exit status accordingly.


Show also processes that do not have visible command line (e.g. kernel worker threads).


Scripts too - this causes the program to also return process id's of shells running the named scripts.

-o omitpid

Tells pidof to omit processes with that process id. The special pid %PPID can be used to name the parent process of the pidof program, in other words the calling shell or shell script.


Shows all thread ids instead of pids.

-S separator

Use separator as a separator put between pids. Used only when more than one pids are printed for the program. The -d option is an alias for this option for sysvinit pidof compatibility.

Exit Status


At least one program was found with the requested name.


No program was found with the requested name.


When using the -x option, pidof only has a simple method for detecting scripts and will miss scripts that, for example, use env. This limitation is due to how the scripts look in the proc filesystem.

See Also

pgrep(1), pkill(1)


Jaromir Capik

Referenced By

killall(1), lsfd(1), unshare(1).