w - display users who are logged on and what they are doing
w [-ahi] [-M core] [-N system] [user]
The w utility prints a summary of the current activity on
the system, including
what each user is doing. The first line displays
time of day, how long the system has been running, the number of users
logged into the system, and the load averages. The load average numbers
give the number of jobs in the run queue averaged over 1, 5
and 15 minutes.
The fields output are the user's login name, the name of the
user is on, the host from which the user is logged in, the
time the user
logged on, the time since the user last typed anything, and
the name and
arguments of the current process.
The options are as follows:
-a Attempt to translate network addresses into names.
-h Suppress the heading.
-i Output is sorted by idle time.
Extract values associated with the name list from
core instead of the running kernel.
Extract the name list from the specified system instead of the
If a user name is specified, the output is restricted to
/var/run/utmp list of users on the system
finger(1), ps(1), uptime(1), who(1), utmp(5)
The -f, -l, -s, -u, and -w flags are no longer supported.
The w command appeared in 3.0BSD.
The notion of the ``current process'' is muddy. The current
``the highest numbered process on the terminal that is not
or, if there is none, the highest numbered process
on the terminal.''
This fails, for example, in critical sections of
the shell and editor, or when faulty programs running in the
fork and fail to ignore interrupts. (In cases where no process can be
found, w prints ``-''.)
The CPU time is only an estimate. In particular, if someone
background process running after logging out, the person
that terminal is ``charged'' with the time.
Background processes are not shown, even though they account
for much of
the load on the system.
Sometimes processes, typically those in the background, are
null or garbaged arguments. In these cases, the name of the
printed in parentheses.
The w utility does not know about the new conventions for
background jobs. It will sometimes find a background job
instead of the
OpenBSD 3.6 June 6, 1993
[ Back ]