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After running ps, I noticed that a couple of the processes had an O at the start of the line. In all my years, I've never seen this. I thought that the meaning of the indicator might be common knowledge, but I asked my circle of software professionals and they had no idea either. The column isn't labelled, either. I read the entire manual entry for ps and couldn't find what it means; there's nothing about an O.

It might just be unique to MinGW. It appears even when ps is the first command entered in a fresh console. Any ideas?

O at the start of some lines

And in text-based form:

$ ps
      PID    PPID    PGID     WINPID   TTY         UID    STIME COMMAND
     9484    5176   17152       1172  cons0       4096 14:35:31 /usr/bin/sh
I   21164   17156   21164       4320  cons2       4096 16:11:48 /usr/bin/ssh-keygen
    19220       1   19220      19220  cons0       4096 14:34:10 /usr/bin/bash
    16344       1   16344       7392  cons3       4096 10:53:33 /usr/bin/bash
    17156       1   17156      17156  cons2       4096 16:09:52 /usr/bin/bash
    23660   23740   23660      18060  cons8       4096 08:28:14 /usr/bin/ps
    17152   19220   17152      17152  cons0       4096 14:34:10 /usr/bin/bash
     2552       1    2552       2552  cons6       4096 14:14:52 /usr/bin/bash
     4904    9484   17152       4704  cons0       4096 14:35:31 /c/Program Files/nodejs/node
     7396       1    7396       7396  cons7       4096 08:23:44 /usr/bin/bash
    23740       1   23740      23740  cons8       4096 08:28:11 /usr/bin/bash
    17020       1   17020      17020  cons1       4096 15:16:26 /usr/bin/bash
     5176   17152   17152      12140  cons0       4096 14:34:15 /usr/bin/bash
I   15460       1   15460      15460  cons4       4096 16:18:14 /usr/bin/less
    20616       1   20616      20616  cons5       4096 16:21:36 /usr/bin/bash
  • A real puzzle! Since you aren't passing it any options, it must be something pre-configured. Can you show the output of echo $PS_FORMAT? If that turns up nothing, then that ps must be patched to show that additional info. – Alexander Batischev Jun 12 at 19:55
  • @AlexanderBatischev Or it may be left-over cruft from the output of some other command that the output from ps doesn't properly overwrite. I'm not quite sure why we see the output of ps even though the cursor is clearly still at the end of the ps command, above the output. – Kusalananda Jun 12 at 20:01
  • In that case, running reset and re-running ps should clear things up. – Alexander Batischev Jun 12 at 20:03
  • @Kusalananda Good point about the cursor position. Maybe that "O" comes from an autocompletion list? – Alexander Batischev Jun 12 at 20:05
  • @K7AAY In this case, the actual image (with the cursor in a strange position) provides a bit of a mystery though... and possibly a hint at an answer (if the user explains it). But in general, yes, no images of text. – Kusalananda Jun 12 at 20:08

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