Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A part of the output from the ps -ef command is given below :

UID        PID  PPID  C STIME TTY          TIME CMD
root         1     0  0  2012 ?        00:00:01 init [3]         
root         2     1  0  2012 ?        00:00:01 [migration/0]
root         3     1  0  2012 ?        00:00:00 [ksoftirqd/0]
root         4     1  0  2012 ?        00:00:00 [watchdog/0]
root         5     1  0  2012 ?        00:00:00 [events/0]
root         6     1  0  2012 ?        00:00:00 [khelper]
root         7     1  0  2012 ?        00:00:00 [kthread]
root         9     7  0  2012 ?        00:00:00 [xenwatch]
root        10     7  0  2012 ?        00:00:00 [xenbus]
root        18     7  0  2012 ?        00:00:01 [migration/1]
root        19     7  0  2012 ?        00:00:00 [ksoftirqd/1]

What does the "?" for all the rows in the TTY column mean? Also what does C and CMD column stand for?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You can check the manpage using man ps to find out what the columns mean. The Linux ps manpage, for example, gives:

c              C           integer value of the processor utilisation percentage.
                           (see %cpu)
tname          TTY         controlling tty (terminal). (alias tt, tty).
args           COMMAND     command with all its arguments as a string. May chop as
                           desired. Modifications to the arguments are not shown.
                           The output in this column may contain spaces.
                           (alias cmd, command)
cmd            CMD         see args. (alias args, command)

If the TTY is ? that means that the process is not associated with any user terminal.

share|improve this answer
2  
man ps should work everywhere, not just Linux. Going to edit your answer to say what I think you must have meant; feel free to revert if I'm in err. –  derobert Jan 22 '13 at 17:05

Since these are all kernel processes, they are not attached to a TTY (hence the ? value in the TTY field).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.