I am facing a weird error when I attempt to invoke "top"

myhost:~> top

top: unknown option '1'

Usage: top -hv | -bcHiOSs -d secs -n max -u|U user -p pid(s) -o field -w [cols]


I am connected to the server "myhost" via SSH. I looked it up online and found no help...

EDIT: As far as I remember, I have not manipulated this command in any way. The command \top works.

  • 2
    If this is on Linux, then see if you have a .toprc file in your home directory, and remove or temporarily rename it. Then try again. – Kusalananda Nov 3 '17 at 10:59
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    To ignore aliases, try "top" or \top. Also explain what did you do before you broke it. Out of the box, top works fine. – Valentin Bajrami Nov 3 '17 at 11:08
  • I do not have a .toprc file. Also, \top works. – TheNotMe Nov 3 '17 at 11:10
  • 1
    Chances are that your machine has been compromised! and top has been replaced with a custom top command which is probably hiding trojans, viruses and whatnot! – Valentin Bajrami Nov 3 '17 at 11:16
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    No it is ok. This is a university-managed server. The IT people do things all the time. Thanks for the heads up, though. – TheNotMe Nov 3 '17 at 11:16

You may have the top replaced with alias of the same name. Check your aliases:

[kucera@node ~]$ alias
alias top='top 1'

If you see something like in the example above, you have the problem identified. Then you have to modify your profile settings (if it wasn't just temporary alias).

|improve this answer|||||
  • I have the alias: top top -s 1. How can I fix this? – TheNotMe Nov 3 '17 at 11:10
  • Remove the 1 so you have just 'top -s' in your alias. – Jaroslav Kucera Nov 3 '17 at 11:12
  • I do realize that. The question is how do I do that? I have no .bashrc file in my home directory. – TheNotMe Nov 3 '17 at 11:15
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    Then it's possibly system wide. Grep content of /etc/profile.d, /etc/profile, /etc/bashrc – Jaroslav Kucera Nov 3 '17 at 11:20
  • 1
    If you don't have access there, you can fix it with 'unalias top' in your ~/.bashrc – Jaroslav Kucera Nov 3 '17 at 11:23

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