How to show top five CPU consuming processes with ps?
ps when you can do it easily with the
If you must use
ps, try this:
ps aux | sort -nrk 3,3 | head -n 5
If you want something that's truly 'top'esq with constant updates, use watch
watch "ps aux | sort -nrk 3,3 | head -n 5"
The correct answer is:
ps --sort=-pcpu | head -n 6
So you can specify columns without interfering with sorting.
ps -Ao user,uid,comm,pid,pcpu,tty --sort=-pcpu | head -n 6
Note for MAC OS X: In Mac OS X,
ps doesn't recognize
--sort, but offers
-r to sort by current CPU usage. Thus, for Mac OS X you can use:
ps -Ao user,uid,comm,pid,pcpu,tty -r | head -n 6
Depending on your needs you may find this a little more readable:
ps -eo pcpu,pid,user,args --no-headers| sort -t. -nk1,2 -k4,4 -r |head -n 5
1.3 4 root [ksoftirqd/0] 1.1 9 root [ksoftirqd/1] 1.0 17606 nobody /usr/sbin/gmetad 1.0 13 root [ksoftirqd/2] 0.3 17401 nobody /usr/sbin/gmond
(the fields are %CPU,PID,USER,COMMAND)
I don't think
ps is what you are looking for. Have you looked at the output from
If you have GNU-Top, try using it's batch mode to spit out a process list sorted by cpu usage and using head/tail to get the top 5 lines (the first 8 are headers):
top -b -n 1 | head -n 12 | tail -n 5
The BSD top seems to behave differently and doesn't have a non-interactive mode, so use one of the other
ps based solutions.
Quickest one liner I have found for this (note 6 because the header adds up):
ps aux k-pcpu | head -6
Note that current versions of ps have sorting ability within them, based on field codes (given in the ps man page). The field code for processor usage is "c". You can use
--sort c at the end of a ps command e.g.
ps aux --sort c
This will put the process using the most cpu at the bottom of the list. Reverse order of the list by adding a minus to the field code used to sort e.g.
ps aux --sort -c
The command line tool
ps has its own sort option, so I prefer:
$ ps -eo pcpu,args --sort=-%cpu | head
You can add the columns you want. See what other options are available via the
ps man page.
$ man ps
In order to add a point to other valuable answers, I prefer:
ps auxk-c | head -6
It also prints the header, which is nice.
k is identical to
c specifies CPU usage (alias
%cpu) field for sort, while
- is for reverse sort.
You may add more specifiers separated by
,, other possible specifiers are :
uid ... which you can find full list in STANDARD FORMAT SPECIFIERS section of man page. For example:
ps auxk -gid,-%mem | head -11
would print 10 processes with highest group id, internally sorted by memory usage.
top on Mac OS X has a logging mode option in the form of
top -l numberOfSamples (which seems to be the equivalent to the batch mode of GNU
top). It is necessary, though, to have at least two samples because "the first sample displayed will have an invalid %CPU displayed for each process, as it is calculated using the delta between samples" (
man 1 top).
# examples top -o cpu -l 2 -n 5 | tail -n 6 top -o cpu -l 2 -n 5 -stats pid,command,cpu | tail -n 6 top -o cpu -l 2 -n 5 -stats pid,command,cpu -U $(logname) | tail -n 6
top will display what is using your CPU. If you have it installed,
htop allows you more fine-grained control, including filtering by—in your case—CPU.
I believe the simplest way to see top 5 cpu consuming process is,
ps -eo pid,comm,%cpu,%mem --sort=-%cpu | head -n 5
To see top 5 memory consuming process is,
ps -eo pid,comm,%cpu,%mem --sort=-%mem | head -n 5
-e : This flag is used to select all process
-o : This flag is used to format as user-defined.
pid : This argument used for showing pid
comm: This argument used for showing command name only. To get full command use
%cpu: This argument shows the percentage of cpu utilization of the process in "##.#" format. Here
pcpu can also be used.
%mem: This argument shows the ratio of the process's resident set size to the physical memory on the machine, expressed as a percentage. Here
pmem can also be used.
--sort: Specify sorting order. After
- sign is used to sort highest value at the top where the default option which is
+ is to list increasing numerical order [i.e 0 to n].
top -bn1 |sed -n '7,12'p works as a nice little one liner too.
Though I do prefer to use ps with the --sort=X -o X,Y,Z
using ps you can pull different stats grep for a process OR user and then total OR avg them with a pipe to awk.