Linux / UNIX: Find out or determine if process pid is running

How do I find out my process is running on a Unix-like operating systems? How do I get the pid number for particular process on a Linux operating systems using bash shell?

A PID is an acronym for process identification number on a Linux or Unix-like operating system. A PID is automatically assigned to each process when it is created. A process is nothing but running instance of a program and each process has a unique PID on a Unix-like system.[donotprint][/donotprint]

The easiest way to find out if process is running is run ps aux command and grep process name. If you got output along with process name/pid, your process is running.

Task: Find out process pid

Simply use ps command as follows:
ps aux | grep {process-name}

For example find out if mysqld process (mysqld pid) is running or not:
$ ps aux | grep mysqld
Sample outputs:

mysql    28290  1.1  2.7 340496 56812 ?        Sl   Jul31 348:27 /usr/libexec/mysqld --defaults-file=/etc/my.cnf --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql --user=mysql --pid-file=/var/run/mysqld/ --skip-locking --socket=/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock

Find the process ID of a running program using pidof

pidof command finds the process id’s (pids) of the named programs. It prints those id’s on screen. This program is on some systems used in run level change scripts, especially when the system has a System-V like rc structure. In that case these scripts are located in /etc/rc?.d, where ? is the runlevel. If the system has a start-stop-daemon (8) program that should be used instead.
# pidof mysqld
Sample outputs:


Find PID using pgrep command

The pgrep command searches the running system and shows the process IDs of all processes that match the given criteria. The syntax is:
pgrep {processNameHere}
pgrep firefox
pgrep httpd
pgrep nginx

Sample outputs:


Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC 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.