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12/08/2019

Linux Process Statuses



In our “How to use ps” article we talked about the linux command ps and how it can be used to examine the currently running processes on a linux server.

When using ps with the “u” flag (ps -u) you will see a column called STAT that displays the process’s status.

The STAT column in the example below is outlined in red (using ps -aux):

Click image to enlarge

Here is a list of the various process statuses and what they mean:

D – Uninterruptible sleep (usually a critical system process, a process that cannot be killed without rebooting)
R – Running or runnable (on run queue)
S – Interruptible sleep (waiting for an event to complete)
T – Stopped, either by a job control signal or because it is being traced.
Z – Defunct (“zombie”) process, terminated but not closed by the parent process that created it

Additional characters may be seen if in a BSD environment or when using the “stat” modifier with ps:

W – has no resident pages
< – high-priority process
N – low-priority task
L – has pages locked into memory (for real-time and custom IO)

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