The TOP of the Mountain

So back to looking up processes.  I’ve previously mentioned the ps command which lets you see all the processes that are running on your system, without having to leave the comfort of the terminal.  Well top is kind of similar to that.  Instead of showing a list of running processes top shows you the jobs that are currently the most demanding on your processor.

Lets say that all of a sudden your computer starts to slow down and you aren’t sure which application/process is causing it.  Well instead of going through everything in ps aux | less, you could just look at top and figure it out from there.  The display not only tells you how much of your CPU the job is using but it also gives you the process ID (PID), which user is running the job.  Some other information is also displayed but I haven’t looked at it in too much detail so I can’t comment too much.

The output is pretty straight forward and to even help each column has its title printed along the top.

Here is a sample of what my display looks like when I entered the command:

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