NAME [Toc] [Back]
top - display and update information about the top processes on the
SYNOPSIS [Toc] [Back]
top [-s time] [-d count] [-q] [-u] [-w] [-h] [-P] [-n number]
[-f filename] [-p pset_id]
DESCRIPTION [Toc] [Back]
top displays the top processes on the system and periodically updates
the information. Raw CPU percentage is used to rank the processes.
On a PA-RISC, hard-partitionable platform, top issues a warning that
it reports only for the current partition and it has to be run on
other partitions if their status is required.
Options [Toc] [Back]
top recognizes the following command-line options:
-s time Set the delay between screen updates to time seconds.
The default delay between updates is 5 seconds.
-d count Show only count displays, then exit. A display is
considered to be one update of the screen. This
option is used to select the number of displays to be
shown before the program exits.
-q This option runs the top program at the same priority
as if it is executed via a nice -20 command so that
it will execute faster (see nice(1)). This can be
very useful in discovering any system problem when
the system is very sluggish. This option is
accessible only to users who have appropriate
-u User ID (uid) numbers are displayed instead of
usernames. This improves execution speed by
eliminating the additional time required to map uid
numbers to user names.
-h Hides the individual CPU state information for
systems having multiple processors. Only the average
CPU status will be displayed.
-n number Show only number processes per screen. Note that, if
number is greater than the maximum number of
processes that can be displayed per screen, this
option is ignored. But when used with -f option,
there is no limit on the maximum number of processes
that can be displayed.
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-f filename Output is appended to filename. When -f is used, top
defaults to 1 for -d and 16 for -n.
-p pset_id Show load averages and process state break down for
system and processor set pset_id. Show only the
processes running on the processor set pset_id. This
option is supported only if the kernel supports
processor sets functionality.
-P Adds column PSET before column CPU for individual CPU
information. Adds columns PSET before column CPU for
each process information. This option is supported
only if the kernel supports processor sets
-w Show individual CPU information. By default, top
does not display any individual CPU information. The
user can toggle between individual process
information and individual CPU information by using
the w screen-control key. When used with the -h
option, the -w option overrides the -h option.
Screen-Control Commands [Toc] [Back]
When displaying multiple-screen data, top recognizes the following
keyboard screen-control commands:
j Display next screen if the current screen is not the
k Display previous screen if the current screen is not
the first screen.
t Display the first (top) screen.
w Display individual CPU information in place of
individual process information and vice versa.
Program Termination [Toc] [Back]
To exit the program and resume normal user activities, type q at any
Display Description [Toc] [Back]
Three general classes of information are displayed by top:
System Data [Toc] [Back]
The first few lines at the top of the display show general
information about the state of the system, including:
+ System name and current time.
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+ Load averages in the last one, five, and fifteen
minutes of all the active processors in the system.
+ Number of existing processes and the number of
processes in each state (sleeping, waiting, running,
starting, zombie, and stopped).
+ Percentage of time spent in each of the processor
states (user, nice, system, idle, interrupt and
swapper) per active processor on the system.
+ Average value for each of the active processor
states (only on multi-processor systems).
Memory Data [Toc] [Back]
Includes virtual and real memory in use (with the amount of
memory considered "active" in parentheses) and the amount of
Process Data [Toc] [Back]
Information about individual processes on the system. When
process data cannot fit on a single screen, top divides the
data into two or more screens. To view multiple-screen
data, use the j, k, and t commands described previously.
Note that the system- and memory-data displays are present
in each screen of multiple-screen process data.
Process data is displayed in a format similar to that used
CPU Processor number on which the process is
executing (only on multi-processor
TTY Terminal interface used by the process.
PID Process ID number.
PSET ID of the processor set to which the
processor belongs. This is shown only when
-P option is used.
USERNAME Name of the owner of the process. When the
-u option is specified, the user ID (uid)
is displayed instead of USERNAME.
PRI Current priority of the process.
NI Nice value ranging from -20 to +20.
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SIZE Total virtual size of the process in
kilobytes. This includes virtual sizes of
text, data, stack, mmap regions, shared
memory regions and IO mapped regions. This
may also include virtual memory regions
shared with other processes.
RES Resident size of the process in kilobytes.
It includes the sizes of all private
regions in the process. The resident size
information is, at best, an approximate
STATE Current state of the process. The various
states are sleep, wait, run, idl, zomb, or
TIME Number of system and CPU seconds the
process has consumed.
%WCPU Weighted CPU (central processing unit)
%CPU Raw CPU percentage. This field is used to
sort the top processes.
COMMAND Name of the command the process is
EXAMPLES [Toc] [Back]
top can be executed with or without command-line options.
To display five screens of data at two-second intervals then
automatically exit, use:
top -s2 -d5
top -P -s2 -d5
To display information about pset 2, use:
top -p 2
top -P -p 2
To display individual CPU information in place of individual process
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and press the w key.
AUTHOR [Toc] [Back]
top was developed by HP and William LeFebvre of Rice University.
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