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To specify columns, I can use ps's -o option:

ps -o pid,cmd

How can I tell ps to output all of its available columns?

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Interestingly, ps L will give a list of all available columns. –  Flimm Nov 8 '13 at 12:33
    
I would not advise this as many of the available fields are redundant. For example you have bsdstart, lstart, start, and start_time which all present the exact same information in different formats. –  Patrick Nov 8 '13 at 13:41

2 Answers 2

ps is a very system dependant command. So the answer will depend on the variant of Unix you're using.

With the ps from procps-ng version 3.3.3 on Linux:

ps -eo "$(ps L|cut -d' ' -f1 | grep -vx thcount)" | less -S

(for some reason thcount appears in the list of known fields but is not accepted as argument to -o. nlwp is OK though).

You'll get a lot of duplication since many of those fields are aliases for the same thing (or different ways to express it. For instance, you don't really need start once you've got lstart).

For the column headers to display the field selector instead of the normal heading (to help you refine which column you do want):

ps -eo "$(ps L|sed -n '/thcount/!s/\([^ ]*\).*/\1=\1/p')" | less -S

The fields specified by POSIX are args, comm, etime, group, nice, pcpu, pgid, pid, ppid, rgroup, ruser, time, tty, user and vsz. So you can use

ps -eo args,comm,etime,group,nice,pcpu,pgid,pid,ppid,rgroup,ruser,time,tty,user,vsz

For a command that should works across all compliant systems.

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ps axo pid,tid,class,rtprio,ni,pri,psr,pcpu,stat,comm,cmd,stat,euid,ruid,tty,tpgid,sess,pgrp,ppid,tt,user,fname,tmout,f,wchan

Yourself should choose from above list.

such as:

mohsen@debian:~$ ps axo pid,ppid,user,cmd
  PID  PPID USER     CMD
    1     0 root     init [2]  
    2     0 root     [kthreadd]
    3     2 root     [ksoftirqd/0]
    4     2 root     [kworker/0:0]
    5     2 root     [kworker/0:0H]
    6     2 root     [kworker/u:0]
    7     2 root     [kworker/u:0H]
    8     2 root     [migration/0]
    9     2 root     [rcu_bh]
   10     2 root     [rcu_sched]
   11     2 root     [watchdog/0]
   12     2 root     [watchdog/1]
   13     2 root     [ksoftirqd/1]
   14     2 root     [migration/1]
   15     2 root     [kworker/1:0]
   16     2 root     [kworker/1:0H]
   17     2 root     [watchdog/2]
   18     2 root     [ksoftirqd/2]
   19     2 root     [migration/2]
   20     2 root     [kworker/2:0]
   21     2 root     [kworker/2:0H]
   22     2 root     [watchdog/3]
   23     2 root     [ksoftirqd/3]
   24     2 root     [migration/3]
   25     2 root     [kworker/3:0]
   26     2 root     [kworker/3:0H]
   27     2 root     [watchdog/4]
   28     2 root     [ksoftirqd/4]
   29     2 root     [migration/4]
   30     2 root     [kworker/4:0]
   31     2 root     [kworker/4:0H]
   32     2 root     [watchdog/5]
   33     2 root     [ksoftirqd/5]
   34     2 root     [migration/5]
   35     2 root     [kworker/5:0]
   36     2 root     [kworker/5:0H]
   37     2 root     [watchdog/6]
   38     2 root     [ksoftirqd/6]
   39     2 root     [migration/6]
   40     2 root     [kworker/6:0]
   41     2 root     [kworker/6:0H]
   42     2 root     [watchdog/7]
   43     2 root     [ksoftirqd/7]
   44     2 root     [migration/7]
   45     2 root     [kworker/7:0]
   46     2 root     [kworker/7:0H]
   47     2 root     [cpuset]
   48     2 root     [khelper]
   49     2 root     [kdevtmpfs]
   50     2 root     [netns]
   51     2 root     [bdi-default]
   52     2 root     [kintegrityd]
   53     2 root     [kblockd]
   54     2 root     [kworker/0:1]
   55     2 root     [kworker/4:1]
   56     2 root     [kworker/2:1]
   57     2 root     [kworker/3:1]
   58     2 root     [khungtaskd]
   59     2 root     [kswapd0]
   60     2 root     [ksmd]
   61     2 root     [khugepaged]
   62     2 root     [fsnotify_mark]
   63     2 root     [crypto]
   67     2 root     [kworker/6:1]
   68     2 root     [kworker/7:1]
   69     2 root     [kworker/1:1]
   70     2 root     [deferwq]
   71     2 root     [kworker/u:1]
   90     2 root     [kworker/5:1]
  192     2 root     [khubd]
  202     2 root     [ata_sff]
  207     2 root     [scsi_eh_0]
  208     2 root     [scsi_eh_1]
  209     2 root     [scsi_eh_2]
  210     2 root     [scsi_eh_3]
  211     2 root     [scsi_eh_4]
  212     2 root     [scsi_eh_5]
  213     2 root     [kworker/u:2]
  214     2 root     [kworker/u:3]
  215     2 root     [kworker/u:4]
  216     2 root     [kworker/u:5]
  217     2 root     [kworker/u:6]
  218     2 root     [kworker/u:7]
  225     2 root     [kworker/0:2]
  232     2 root     [kworker/0:1H]
  260     2 root     [jbd2/sda5-8]
  261     2 root     [ext4-dio-unwrit]
  409     1 root     udevd --daemon
  499     2 root     [kworker/2:1H]
  606     2 root     [kworker/4:1H]
  624     2 root     [kworker/1:1H]
 1019     2 root     [kworker/5:1H]
 1074     2 root     [kworker/3:1H]
 1090     2 root     [kpsmoused]
 1091     2 root     [kworker/1:2]
 1097     2 root     [cfg80211]
 1264     2 root     [hd-audio0]
 1310     2 root     [hd-audio1]
 1559     2 root     [kvm-irqfd-clean]
 1588     2 root     [kworker/2:2]
 1613     1 root     /sbin/brltty -q
 2249     2 root     [jbd2/sda3-8]
 2250     2 root     [ext4-dio-unwrit]
 2623     1 root     /sbin/rpcbind -w
 2653     1 statd    /sbin/rpc.statd
 2659     2 root     [rpciod]
 2661     2 root     [nfsiod]
 2667     1 root     /usr/sbin/rpc.idmapd
 2730     2 root     [flush-8:0]
 3061     1 vnstat   /usr/sbin/vnstatd -d --pidfile /run/vnstat/vnstat.pid
 3126     1 root     /usr/sbin/rsyslogd
 3183     1 root     /usr/sbin/acpi_fakekeyd
 3224     1 daemon   /usr/sbin/atd
 3249     1 root     tclsh /usr/bin/i8kmon -- --daemon --nouserconfig
 3284     1 root     /usr/sbin/acpid
 3331     1 root     /usr/sbin/inetd
 3386     1 nobody   /usr/bin/gdomap -I /var/run/gdomap.pid -p
 3450     2 root     [kauditd]
 3456     1 root     /usr/sbin/lwresd
 3467     2 root     [iprt]
 3473     1 timidity /usr/bin/timidity -Os -iAD
 3531     1 dirmngr  /usr/bin/dirmngr --daemon --sh
 3674     1 privoxy  /usr/sbin/privoxy --pidfile /var/run/privoxy.pid --user pri
 3679     1 root     /usr/sbin/kerneloops
 3702     1 root     /usr/sbin/cron
 3722     1 debian-+ /usr/sbin/tor --defaults-torrc /usr/share/tor/tor-service-d
 3743     1 message+ /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --system
 3793     1 avahi    avahi-daemon: running [debian.local]
 3794  3793 avahi    avahi-daemon: chroot helper
 3816     1 root     /usr/bin/kdm -config /var/run/kdm/kdmrc
 3836  3816 root     /usr/bin/X :0 vt7 -br -nolisten tcp -auth /var/run/xauth/A:
 3840     1 root     /usr/sbin/NetworkManager
 3903     1 root     /usr/lib/policykit-1/polkitd --no-debug
 3914     1 root     /usr/sbin/modem-manager
 3916     1 root     /sbin/wpa_supplicant -u -s -O /var/run/wpa_supplicant
 3921  3816 root     -:0                                    
 3923  3840 root     /sbin/dhclient -d -sf /usr/lib/NetworkManager/nm-dhcp-clien
 3954     1 root     /usr/sbin/nmbd -D
 4024     1 root     /usr/sbin/smbd -D
 4140     1 root     /usr/sbin/minissdpd -i 0.0.0.0
 4153     1 root     /usr/sbin/sshd
 4170     1 root     /sbin/getty 38400 tty1
 4171     1 root     /sbin/getty 38400 tty2
 4172     1 root     /sbin/getty 38400 tty3
 4173     1 root     /sbin/getty 38400 tty4
 4174     1 root     /sbin/getty 38400 tty5
 4175     1 root     /sbin/getty 38400 tty6
 4184  4024 root     /usr/sbin/smbd -D
 4186     1 root     /opt/zebedee/bin/zebedee -f /opt/zebedee/lib/zebedee/config
 4233     1 root     /usr/sbin/console-kit-daemon --no-daemon
 4306  3921 mohsen   gnome-session
 4335  4306 mohsen   [xbrlapi] <defunct>
 4355  4306 mohsen   /usr/bin/ssh-agent /usr/bin/dbus-launch --exit-with-session
 4358     1 mohsen   /usr/bin/dbus-launch --exit-with-session gnome-session
 4362     1 mohsen   /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --fork --print-pid 5 --print-address 7
 4365     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/at-spi2-core/at-spi-bus-launcher
 4369  4365 mohsen   /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --config-file=/etc/at-spi2/accessibili
 4372     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/at-spi2-core/at-spi2-registryd --use-gnome-session
 4384  4306 mohsen   /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gnome-settings-daemon
 4388     1 mohsen   /usr/bin/gnome-keyring-daemon --start --components=ssh
 4397     1 mohsen   /usr/bin/pulseaudio --start
 4399     1 rtkit    /usr/lib/rtkit/rtkit-daemon
 4403     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd
 4409     1 root     /lib/systemd/systemd-logind
 4417     1 root     /usr/lib/upower/upowerd
 4561     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-udisks2-volume-monitor
 4565     1 root     /usr/lib/udisks2/udisksd --no-debug
 4605     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-goa-volume-monitor
 4608     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gnome-online-accounts/goa-daemon
 4617     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-afc-volume-monitor
 4622     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-gphoto2-volume-monitor
 4626     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfs-mtp-volume-monitor
 4629  4306 mohsen   /usr/bin/gnome-shell
 4631     1 colord   /usr/lib/colord/colord
 4633     1 root     /usr/lib/packagekit/packagekitd
 4636     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/dconf/dconf-service
 4637  4384 mohsen   syndaemon -i 1.0 -t -K -R
 4642     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-printer
 4649     1 root     /lib/systemd/systemd-localed
 4694     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gnome-shell/gnome-shell-calendar-server
 4697     1 root     /usr/lib/accountsservice/accounts-daemon
 4703     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/evolution/evolution-source-registry
 4713     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/gconf/gconfd-2
 4726     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/telepathy/mission-control-5
 4737  4306 mohsen   /usr/lib/evolution/3.8/evolution-alarm-notify
 4742     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/evolution/evolution-calendar-factory
 4766     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/tracker/tracker-store
 4780     1 mohsen   /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-burn --spawner :1.8 /org/gtk/gvfs/exec_
 4817  4629 mohsen   iceweasel
 4915  4629 mohsen   /usr/bin/python /usr/bin/terminator
 4924  4915 mohsen   gnome-pty-helper
 4925  4915 mohsen   /bin/bash
 5014  4925 mohsen   ps axo pid,ppid,user,cmd
share|improve this answer
    
I don't know where you took this list, but it doesn't match the list of any ps implementation I recognize. –  Gilles Feb 15 at 23:33

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