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How to: Find Out Whether a UNIX / Linux Process Is Running or Not

Q. I'd like to find out if httpd / mysqld or sshd process is running or not under CentOS Linux server. How do I determine whether a process is running or not?

A. You need to use following commands:

[a] ps - It report a snapshot of the current processes

[b] grep - Filter out process names

Find out if sshd is Process is Running or Not

Type the following command at shell prompt:
$ ps -ewwo pid,args | grep [s]sh

5341 /usr/sbin/sshd
 5864 /usr/bin/ssh-agent x-session-manager
 6289 ssh oldbox
 7126 ssh admin@core.r1.vsnl.router


  • ps : Command name
  • -ewwo pid,args : -e option force to select all running processes. -o option is used to specify user-defined format. In our case we are forcing to display only program pid and its arguments. Finally -w option specifies wide output. Use this option twice for unlimited width.
  • grep [s]sh : We are just filtering out sshd string
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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Ganesh October 19, 2007, 5:51 am

    U can also do that without using user defined format….

    ps -eaf |grep [s]sh

    easy to remember than that…

  • Arupananda May 21, 2012, 10:45 am

    if you want to see whether a process is running on your environment or not just go to your terminal and type a command on CLI
    (root@local-host)# ps -ef | grep process_name
    Here ps -ef used for displaying of all running process
    grep is used for searching purpose here grep process_name search the process

    ps -ef will be input to grep process_name by using pipesymbol

  • Ramu November 30, 2013, 11:13 am

    Thanks for sharing this nice tut.

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