How To Get Running Process In Linux

Getting the running process in Linux can be a useful skill for any Linux user or system administrator. Whether you want to check which processes are consuming the most resources or simply want to keep an eye on what’s happening on your system, knowing how to find and manage running processes is essential. In this article, I will guide you through the process of getting running processes in Linux, providing detailed steps and personal commentary along the way.

Step 1: Open the Terminal

First things first, let’s open the terminal. In Linux, the terminal is where you can issue commands and perform various tasks. You can usually find the terminal in the applications menu or by pressing the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T. Once the terminal is open, we can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Use the ps Command

Now that we have the terminal open, we can start getting information about the running processes using the ps command. The ps command stands for “process status” and provides a snapshot of the current processes running on the system. To use the ps command, simply type the following command in the terminal:

ps -ef

The “-ef” option stands for “extended format” and displays detailed information about all processes running on the system. After you hit enter, you will see a list of processes with information such as the process ID (PID), the user running the process, the CPU and memory usage, and the command that started the process.

Step 3: Filtering the Process List

If the process list is too long or you want to focus on specific processes, you can use the grep command to filter the output. For example, if you want to find all processes related to a specific application, you can use the following command:

ps -ef | grep application-name

Replace “application-name” with the name of the application you want to find. The grep command will search for the specified keyword in the output of the ps command and display only the matching processes.

Step 4: Managing Processes

Now that you have a list of running processes, you might want to manage them. There are several commands you can use to interact with processes, such as:

  • kill: This command allows you to terminate a process by its PID. You can use the following command to kill a process:

kill PID

Replace “PID” with the actual process ID of the process you want to terminate.

  • top: This command provides real-time information about the system processes, including CPU and memory usage. It updates the information periodically, allowing you to monitor the system performance.


When you run the top command, you will see a dynamic list of processes with information such as the CPU and memory usage. You can press the “q” key to exit the top command.


Getting the running process in Linux is a fundamental skill for any Linux user or system administrator. By using the ps command and other related commands, you can easily obtain information about the running processes on your system and manage them effectively. Remember to use the terminal to issue commands and explore various options available to you. With practice and experience, you will become more proficient in managing processes and maintaining a healthy system.