I am a new Linux user. How can I find a computer program/process by name on Linux? Is it possible to find a process by name instead of PID on a Linux?
A Linux computer program, or running a program concurrently with other applications known as a process. A child process in Linux is a process created by another process. The parent process is a process that has created one or more child processes on Linux operating system. The process identifier (process ID or PID) is a number used by Linux or Unix operating system kernels. It is used to uniquely identify an active process.
Procedure to find process by name on Linux
Open the terminal application.
Type the pidof command as follows to find PID for firefox process: pidof firefox
Or use the ps command along with grep command as follows: ps aux | grep -i firefox
To look up or signal processes based on name use:
Linux find process by name using pgrep command
pgrep command looks through the currently running processes and lists the process IDs which match the selection criteria to screen. All the criteria have to match. For example, will only list the processes called sshd AND owned by root user: $ pgrep -u root sshd Just look up pid for firefox process: $ pgrep firefox
How to use ‘ps aux | grep command’
ps command shows information about a selection of the active processes: $ ps aux $ ps aux | grep -i 'search-term' $ ps aux | grep 'firefox' $ ps aux | grep 'sshd' OR use the following syntax instead of using egrep command in pipes: $ ps -fC firefox $ ps -fC chrome The -C option asks ps command to select PIDs by command name.
Using pidof command to grab PIDs for any named program on Linux
The pidof command finds the process id’s (pids) of the named programs such as sshd, firefox and more. For example: $ pidof sshd $ pidof firefox Sample outputs:
A note about top/htop command
To display Linux processes use top command or htop command: $ top OR $ htop
The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.