How can I see the system processes (only) running on my computer?I have tried ps,ps -e etc but always I get the user process + system processes.(I have kept firefox open,I am also getting it.Though it's not system process.)

  • 1
    man ps should help you – kenn Jul 30 '14 at 15:30
  • @kenn Thanks.But I have gone through it but I can't see any combination that leads to listing system processes. – coderredoc Jul 30 '14 at 15:44
  • look at my answer. – kenn Jul 30 '14 at 15:47

pstree will help you about it.

I think it's preinstalled in your system, if not

sudo apt-get install  psmisc

then run


pstree shows running processes as a tree. The tree is rooted at either pid or init if pid is omitted. If a user name is specified, all process trees rooted at processes owned by that user are shown.

Check out for more info here http://linux.about.com/library/cmd/blcmdl1_pstree.htm

  • Yeah it's already installed,but after running pstree I get a tree of processes but I can't understand why is it under init even if I open a firefox browser window and office word.I mean how can I differentiate between user process and system process.Thanks in advance for your help. – coderredoc Jul 30 '14 at 15:54

It doesn't look like ps has an explicit way to do this, but here are some approaches that might get what you want. Full disclosure, I'm not really sure what you mean by system process.

All processes run by root ps -u 0

All process except those run by current user ps -u ${UID} -N

I think you really just need to play around with the flags ps provides.

  • Thanks dan08 for your reply.By system processes I mean those processes that are required if we don't open any application like gedit,games etc.Now I also have the doubt what kind of program is the terminal that is running? – coderredoc Jul 30 '14 at 15:24

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