I want to check out the source code for commands such as ps. It seems to be impossible to search LXR (linux.no) for "ps". Where do I find it?

2 Answers 2


Ps belongs to procps-ng, git repository is here

To fetch it,

git clone https://gitlab.com/procps-ng/procps.git

  • Sure, but where is it in the source tree? Sep 19, 2012 at 1:44
  • @TheLegassis it's a userland tool, what you looking for?
    – daisy
    Sep 19, 2012 at 1:46
  • Hi warl0ck, so I am interested in how it gets included in every Linux build I used. Is it precompiled? I would like to take a look at the source code and modify it Sep 19, 2012 at 1:50
  • @TheLegassis yes, procps reads from /proc, proc-ps
    – daisy
    Sep 19, 2012 at 11:08
  • 1
    I think gitorious.org/procps/procps.git is outdated. Probably it has been moved to gitlab.com/procps-ng/procps/-/wikis/home, but I can't find a reliable source which proves that this is the right one. Here is the old link too fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/procps-ng.
    – lumbric
    Jan 8, 2020 at 15:29

Check procps or procps-ng (the latter is used by Debian/Fedora/openSUSE/Arch and other distros).

procps is the package that has a bunch of small useful utilities that give information about processes using the /proc filesystem. The package includes the programs ps, top, vmstat, w, kill, free, slabtop, and skill.

which looks unmaintained and was forked into procps-ng

Debian, Fedora and openSUSE fork of procps. For more information about the former upstream see http://procps.sourceforge.net.

  • Renan, I understand.. but where would I find this in Linux source tree? Sep 19, 2012 at 1:42
  • 1
    @TheLegassis it is not in the Linux source tree (it's userland, not kernel stuff). To get the source code go to the links I gave.
    – Renan
    Sep 19, 2012 at 2:18
  • Alright, how does ps get the process information? Through /proc directory or does it use a system call? Sep 19, 2012 at 2:21
  • 2
    For that type of question, it would be best to just look at the source.
    – Jim Paris
    Sep 19, 2012 at 3:01
  • 1
    If you want to know how programs obtain information about the system you can use strace.
    – Kotte
    Sep 19, 2012 at 6:36

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