How to Track Running Processes

A process is any type of program currently running in a computer system’s memory. All types of dedicated servers have processes, and on Linux and Unix systems, they are easy to track, troubleshoot, and manage.

One of the most important commands you can use to track a process is “ps”. When executed it will display the currently running processes, their process identification (PID) numbers , and other relevant information, depending on the options you input. For example:

ps aux

This will show you all processes, all users, and also processes without controlling ttys. Add the “f” option, and you will see a full format list showing the commands that initiated the processes in tree format.

ps auxf

Another important tool you can use is “lsof” This command lists all files opened by any user on the system. This is very useful if you find an unusual process with “ps” or experience unexpected performance on your server. You might be able to track down the suspicious activity to a specific file and user.

With a few simple commands on a Linux system, you can keep track of just about everything that is happening on your dedicated server or VPS.