How do I use the output of a command as a parameter in another command? My specific example is that I want to get the PID of a process using pgrep and pass it to the -p option of lsof.

I've tried things like the following:

  • pgrep myprocess | lsof -p /dev/stdin
  • pgrep myprocess | lsof -p -

I know you can do it like this:

pid=$(pgrep myprocess) && lsof -p "$pid"

But there has to be a better way to do it. Perhaps xargs or something? I haven't been able to find something clean, so I'd appreciate any help.


  • 5
    lsof -p "$(pgrep myprocess)" – cuonglm Nov 28 '16 at 5:33
  • That's pretty good, but just wondering if there is a way which preserves the order of operations as you would imagine they should flow. Consider "we get the pid of the process, then use it in lsof". – Daniel Porteous Nov 28 '16 at 5:42
  • 1
    isn't xargs created for such purpose? pgrep myprocess | xargs lsof -p – SparedWhisle Nov 28 '16 at 5:51
  • lsof -p `pgrep myprocess` (one character less) :P – user86041 May 22 '18 at 17:20
  • surrounding commands with backquotes (``) rather than with the $() construct would work for csh, and therefore for tcsh, which is the default shell in freebsd – user86041 May 22 '18 at 17:22

Assuming that pgrep may return multiple PIDs:

$ pgrep mycommand | xargs -n 1 lsof -p

This will, for each PID, run lsof -p with the PID appended.

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