TOP - Linux command
TOP(1) Linux User's Manual
TOP(1) NAME top - display Linux tasks
top -hv | -bcisS -d delay -n iterations -p pid [, pid ...]
The traditional switches '-' and whitespace are optional.
The top program provides a dynamic real-time view of a running system. It can display system summary information as well as a list of tasks currently being managed by the Linux kernel. The types of system summary information shown and the types, order and size of information displayed for tasks are all user configurable and that configuration can be made persistent across restarts.
The program provides a limited interactive interface for process manipulation as well as a much more extensive interface for personal configuration -- encompassing every aspect of its operation. And while top is referred to throughout this document, you are free to name the program anything you wish. That new name, possibly an alias, will then be reflected on top's display and used when reading and writing a configuration file.
When operating top, the two most important keys are help ('h' or '?') and quit ('q') key. Alternatively, you could simply use the traditional interrupt key ('^C') when you're done.
When you start top for the first time, you'll be presented with the traditional screen elements: 1) Summary Area; 2) Message/Prompt Line; 3) Columns Header; 4) Task Area. There will, however, be some differences when compared to the former top.
SummaryArea: There is no highlighting for load/uptime and only val- ues are highlighted for other elements.
TaskArea: Tasks running (or ready to run) will be highlighted, and bold is only one way of emphasizing such processes.
SummaryArea: The program name is shown, perhaps a symlink or alias. The Cpu(s) state label hints at other possibilities. The memory stats use a lower case 'k'.
ColumnsHeader: Will show a new field and some changed labels. More new fields will be found as you customize your top.
Note: the width of top's display will be limited to 512 positions. Displaying all fields requires a minimum of 160 characters. The remaining width could be used for the 'Command' column.
1. COMMAND-LINE Options
The command-line syntax for top consists of:
-hv | -bcisS -d delay -n iterations -p pid [,pid...]
The typically mandatory switches ('-') and even whitespace are com- pletely optional.
-b : Batch mode operation
Starts top in 'Batch mode', which could be useful for sending out- put from top to other programs or to a file. In this mode, top will not accept input and runs until the iterations limit you've set with the '-n' command-line option or until killed.
-c : Command line/Program name toggle
Starts top with the last remembered 'c' state reversed. Thus, if top was displaying command lines, now that field will show program names, and visa versa. See the 'c' interactive command for addi- tional information.
-d : Delay time interval as: -d ss.tt (seconds.tenths)
Specifies the delay between screen updates, and overrides the cor- responding value in one's personal configuration file or the startup default. Later this can be changed with the 'd' or 's' interactive commands.
Fractional seconds are honored, but a negative number is not allowed. In all cases, however, such changes are prohibited if top is running in 'Secure mode', except for root (unless the 's' command-line option was used). For additional information on 'Secure mode' see topic 5a. SYSTEM Configuration File.
-h : Help
Show library version and the usage prompt, then quit.
-i : Idle Processes toggle
Starts top with the last remembered 'i' state reversed. When this toggle is Off, tasks that are idled or zombied will not be dis- played.
-n : Number of iterations limit as: -n number
Specifies the maximum number of iterations, or frames, top should produce before ending.
-u : Monitor by user as: -u somebody
Monitor only processes with an effective UID or user name matching that given.
-U : Monitor by user as: -U somebody
Monitor only processes with a UID or user name matching that given. This matches real, effective, saved, and filesystem UIDs.
-p : Monitor PIDs as: -pN1 -pN2 ... or -pN1, N2 [,...]
Monitor only processes with specified process IDs. This option can be given up to 20 times, or you can provide a comma delimited list with up to 20 pids. Co-mingling both approaches is permit- ted.
This is a command-line option only. And should you wish to return to normal operation, it is not necessary to quit and and restart top -- just issue the '=' interactive command.
-s : Secure mode operation
Starts top with secure mode forced, even for root. This mode is far better controlled through the system configuration file (see topic 5. FILES).
-S : Cumulative time mode toggle
Starts top with the last remembered 'S' state reversed. When 'Cumulative mode' is On, each process is listed with the cpu time that it and its dead children have used. See the 'S' interactive command for additional information regarding this mode.
-v : Version
Show library version and the usage prompt, then quit.
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