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Provide information (frequently refreshed) about the most CPU-intensive processes currently running. See ps for explanations of the field descriptors.

      top options


  -b   Run in batch mode; don't accept command-line input.
       Useful for sending output to another command or to a file.
  -c   Show command line in display instead of just command name.
  -d delay
       Specify delay between refreshes.
  -i   Suppress display of idle and zombie processes.
  -n num
       Update display num times, then exit.
  -p pid
       Monitor only processes with the specified process ID.
  -q   Refresh without any delay.
       If user is privileged, run with highest priority.
  -s   Secure mode. Disable some (dangerous) interactive commands.
  -S   Cumulative mode. Print total CPU time of each process,
       including dead child processes.

Interactive commands

space    Update display immediately.
  A      Sort by age, with newest first.
  c      Toggle display of command name or full command line.
  f, F   Add fields to display or remove fields from the display.
  h, ?   Display help about commands and the status of secure and cumulative modes.
  k      Prompt for process ID to kill and signal to send (default is 15) to kill it.
  i      Toggle suppression of idle and zombie processes.
  l      Toggle display of load average and uptime information.
 ^L      Redraw screen.
  m      Toggle display of memory information.
  M      Sort tasks by resident memory usage.
  n, #   Prompt for number of processes to show. 
         If 0 is entered, show as many as will fit on the screen
  N      Sort numerically by process ID.
  o, O   Change order of displayed fields.
  P      Sort tasks by CPU usage (default).
  q      Exit.
  r      Apply renice to a process. Prompt for PID and renice value. Suppressed in secure mode.
  s      Change delay between refreshes. 
         Prompt for new delay time, which should be in seconds.
         (Suppressed in secure mode.)
  S      Toggle cumulative mode. (See the -S option.)
  t      Toggle display of processes and CPU states information.
  T      Sort tasks by time/cumulative time.
  W      Write current setup to ~/.toprc. This is the recommended way to write a top configuration file.

    top -Ps5
    Display processes sorted by CPU useage, updating every 5 seconds

"Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one go" - Truman Capote

Related commands:

kill - Stop a process from running
signal(3) - software signal facilities