I would like to know if it is possible to view a running program entirely on terminal. What I mean is, as the program is being run with its own interface in desktop, can we also actually view all real time processes and threads that are being executed by the program in terminal.

If this is possible, then how can it be done? It would be really cool to view a real running program in its "skeletal version" via terminal.

Thank you.

  • 1
    top use that. – BeGood Nov 23 '15 at 15:08

top is display linux processes.
More detail about top. Command man top


List of all proccesses displays

ps aux

The "skeletal" view of programs can be given by pstree command.

I suggest you use pstree -p to include PID of each process.

To filter out a specific app, use grep in conjunction with -A flag, to show context after the matched string or -C to match context around the string. For example pstree -p | grep 'virtualbox' --color -A 4 to show 4 lines after virtualbox.

For cleaner output find out PID of a process, and run pstree with -H flag.


$ pstree -H $(pidof mksh)                                                                                 

Here's a good tutorial for more info.

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