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I have a process in a Linux installation that at some point has some kind of spike and passes the max allowed number of threads/processes allowed by the system. I found this by checking ps -elfT | wc -l repeatedly.

But what I don't know is what exactly is it that causes this spike.
The output of ps -elfT has a lot of information, but I cannot easily understand if there is some child process that does some kind of "blurp" in forking and makes a mess.

How could I figure that out?

Example: ps -elfT | cut -d' ' -f3 | sort |uniq gives me the processes running at the time. How could I add a count to see how much each contributes to the total?

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ps -eo nlwp,pid,args --sort nlwp

Would show a list of processes sorted by their number of threads.

For a top-like view of that, you can always do:

watch -n 1 'ps -eo nlwp,pid,args --sort -nlwp | head'

Or you could use... top.

  • press f to select the fields to display.
  • locate nTH (the number of threads) and press d to display it and s to make it the sort order
  • you can adjust its display position with and then and and .
  • q to get back to the process list
  • press H if you want to see all the threads.
  • d to adjust the delay.
  • ? for help.
  • Would I see for all users? And also would that show also threads like with the T in the command in my post? – Jim Dec 13 '17 at 20:36
  • How can I view this information constantly instead of running it constanly? I.e. keep it refreshing like top? – Jim Dec 13 '17 at 21:29
  • @Jim, see edit. – Stéphane Chazelas Dec 13 '17 at 22:27

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