ODOC: top

top — Display TOP Intensive processes

Summary :

TOP provides an ongoing look at processor activity in real time. TOP list the process, which is sorted based on the CPU usage of the each task on the system. It can also sort the tasks by memory usage & run time.

Examples :

$ top — List the most CPU-Intensive processes.
$ top -q — Runs with the highest possible priority.
$ top -d 6 — List will be updated every 6 Sec.
$ top -n 5 — Update the list for 5 times and then exit.
$ top -p 100 -p 200 — Monitor only process with PID 100 & 200. Maximum 20 processes can be monitored.
$ top -s — Run in secure mode (Disables the potentially dangerous interactive commands).
$ top -c — List the process with command line options instead of the command name only (default).
$ top -b -n 5 > myfile — Run in Batch mode & dump the output in myfile.


  • Batch Mode is useful for sending output from top to other programs or to a file. It runs until it produces the number of iterations requested with the n option or until killed.
  • TOP supports few interactive commands to change the output formats like changing update time and few actions like killing a process.

Read : man top

top, odoc, linux, gnu/linux,process