TOP

TOP(1)                          User Commands                         TOP(1)

NAME         top

top – display Linux processes

SYNOPSIS         top

top -hv|-bcHiOSs -d secs -n max -u|U user -p pid -o fld -w [cols]

The traditional switches `-‘ and whitespace are optional.

DESCRIPTION         top

The top program provides a dynamic real-time view of a running
system.  It can display system summary information as well as a list
of processes or threads currently being managed by the Linux kernel.
The types of system summary information shown and the types, order
and size of information displayed for processes are all user
configurable and that configuration can be made persistent across
restarts.

The program provides a limited interactive interface for process
manipulation as well as a much more extensive interface for personal
configuration  —  encompassing every aspect of its operation.  And
while top is referred to throughout this document, you are free to
name the program anything you wish.  That new name, possibly an
alias, will then be reflected on top’s display and used when reading
and writing a configuration file.

OVERVIEW         top

Documentation
The remaining Table of Contents

1. COMMAND-LINE Options
2. SUMMARY Display
a. UPTIME and LOAD Averages
b. TASK and CPU States
c. MEMORY Usage
3. FIELDS / Columns Display
a. DESCRIPTIONS of Fields
b. MANAGING Fields
4. INTERACTIVE Commands
a. GLOBAL Commands
b. SUMMARY AREA Commands
c. TASK AREA Commands
1. Appearance
2. Content
3. Size
4. Sorting
d. COLOR Mapping
5. ALTERNATE-DISPLAY Provisions
a. WINDOWS Overview
b. COMMANDS for Windows
c. SCROLLING a Window
d. SEARCHING in a Window
e. FILTERING in a Window
6. FILES
a. SYSTEM Configuration File
b. PERSONAL Configuration File
c. ADDING INSPECT Entries
7. STUPID TRICKS Sampler
a. Kernel Magic
b. Bouncing Windows
c. The Big Bird Window
d. The Ol’ Switcheroo
8. BUGS, 9. HISTORY Former top, 10. AUTHOR, 11. SEE Also

Operation
When operating top, the two most important keys are the help (h or ?)
key and quit (‘q’) key.  Alternatively, you could simply use the
traditional interrupt key (^C) when you’re done.

When started for the first time, you’ll be presented with these
traditional elements on the main top screen: 1) Summary Area; 2)
Fields/Columns Header; 3) Task Area.  Each of these will be explored
in the sections that follow.  There is also an Input/Message line
between the Summary Area and Columns Header which needs no further
explanation.

The main top screen is generally quite adaptive to changes in
terminal dimensions under X-Windows.  Other top screens may be less
so, especially those with static text.  It ultimately depends,
however, on your particular window manager and terminal emulator.
There may be occasions when their view of terminal size and current
contents differs from top’s view, which is always based on operating
system calls.

Following any re-size operation, if a top screen is corrupted,
appears incomplete or disordered, simply typing something innocuous
like a punctuation character or cursor motion key will usually
restore it.  In extreme cases, the following sequence almost
certainly will:
key/cmd  objective
^Z       suspend top
fg       resume top
<Left>   force a screen redraw (if necessary)

But if the display is still corrupted, there is one more step you
could try.  Insert this command after top has been suspended but
before resuming it.
key/cmd  objective
reset    restore your terminal settings

Note: the width of top’s display will be limited to 512 positions.
Displaying all fields requires approximately 250 characters.
Remaining screen width is usually allocated to any variable width
columns currently visible.  The variable width columns, such as
COMMAND, are noted in topic 3a. DESCRIPTIONS of Fields.  Actual
output width may also be influenced by the -w switch, which is
discussed in topic 1. COMMAND-LINE Options.

Lastly, some of top’s screens or functions require the use of cursor
motion keys like the standard arrow keys plus the Home, End, PgUp and
PgDn keys.  If your terminal or emulator does not provide those keys,
the following combinations are accepted as alternatives:
key      equivalent-key-combinations
Up       alt + \      or  alt + k
Down     alt + /      or  alt + j
Left     alt + <      or  alt + h
Right    alt + >      or  alt + l (lower case L)
PgUp     alt + Up     or  alt + ctrl + k
PgDn     alt + Down   or  alt + ctrl + j
Home     alt + Left   or  alt + ctrl + h
End      alt + Right  or  alt + ctrl + l

The Up and Down arrow keys have special significance when prompted
for line input terminated with the <Enter> key.  Those keys, or their
aliases, can be used to retrieve previous input lines which can then
be edited and re-input.  And there are four additional keys available
with line oriented input.
key      special-significance
Up       recall older strings for re-editing
Down     recall newer strings or erase entire line
Insert   toggle between insert and overtype modes
Delete   character removed at cursor, moving others left
Home     jump to beginning of input line
End      jump to end of input line

Startup Defaults
The following startup defaults assume no configuration file, thus no
user customizations.  Even so, items shown with an asterisk (`*’)
could be overridden through the command-line.  All are explained in
detail in the sections that follow.

Global-defaults
A – Alt display      Off (full-screen)
* d – Delay time       1.5 seconds
* H – Threads mode     Off (summarize as tasks)
I – Irix mode        On  (no, `solaris’ smp)
* p – PID monitoring   Off (show all processes)
* s – Secure mode      Off (unsecured)
B – Bold enable      On  (yes, bold globally)
Summary-Area-defaults
l – Load Avg/Uptime  On  (thus program name)
t – Task/Cpu states  On  (1+1 lines, see `1′)
m – Mem/Swap usage   On  (2 lines worth)
1 – Single Cpu       Off (thus multiple cpus)
Task-Area-defaults
b – Bold hilite      Off (use `reverse’)
* c – Command line     Off (name, not cmdline)
* i – Idle tasks       On  (show all tasks)
J – Num align right  On  (not left justify)
j – Str align right  Off (not right justify)
R – Reverse sort     On  (pids high-to-low)
* S – Cumulative time  Off (no, dead children)
* u – User filter      Off (show euid only)
* U – User filter      Off (show any uid)
V – Forest view      On  (show as branches)
x – Column hilite    Off (no, sort field)
y – Row hilite       On  (yes, running tasks)
z – color/mono       On  (show colors)

1. COMMAND-LINE Options         top

The command-line syntax for top consists of:

-hv|-bcHiOSs -d secs -n max -u|U user -p pid -o fld -w [cols]

The typically mandatory switch (‘-‘) and even whitespace are
completely optional.

-h | -v  :Help/Version
Show library version and the usage prompt, then quit.

-b  :Batch-mode operation
Starts top in Batch mode, which could be useful for sending
output from top to other programs or to a file.  In this mode,
top will not accept input and runs until the iterations limit
you’ve set with the `-n’ command-line option or until killed.

-c  :Command-line/Program-name toggle
Starts top with the last remembered `c’ state reversed.  Thus,
if top was displaying command lines, now that field will show
program names, and visa versa.  See the `c’ interactive command
for additional information.

-d  :Delay-time interval as:  -d ss.t (secs.tenths)
Specifies the delay between screen updates, and overrides the
corresponding value in one’s personal configuration file or the
startup default.  Later this can be changed with the `d’ or `s’
interactive commands.

Fractional seconds are honored, but a negative number is not
allowed.  In all cases, however, such changes are prohibited if
top is running in Secure mode, except for root (unless the `s’
command-line option was used).  For additional information on
Secure mode see topic 6a. SYSTEM Configuration File.

-H  :Threads-mode operation
Instructs top to display individual threads.  Without this
command-line option a summation of all threads in each process
is shown.  Later this can be changed with the `H’ interactive
command.

-i  :Idle-process toggle
Starts top with the last remembered `i’ state reversed.  When
this toggle is Off, tasks that have not used any CPU since the
last update will not be displayed.  For additional information
regarding this toggle see topic 4c. TASK AREA Commands, SIZE.

-n  :Number-of-iterations limit as:  -n number
Specifies the maximum number of iterations, or frames, top
should produce before ending.

-o  :Override-sort-field as:  -o fieldname
Specifies the name of the field on which tasks will be sorted,
independent of what is reflected in the configuration file.  You
can prepend a `+’ or `-‘ to the field name to also override the
sort direction.  A leading `+’ will force sorting high to low,
whereas a `-‘ will ensure a low to high ordering.

This option exists primarily to support automated/scripted batch
mode operation.

-O  :Output-field-names
This option acts as a form of help for the above -o option.  It
will cause top to print each of the available field names on a
separate line, then quit.  Such names are subject to nls
translation.

-p  :Monitor-PIDs mode as:  -pN1 -pN2 …  or  -pN1,N2,N3 …
Monitor only processes with specified process IDs.  This option
can be given up to 20 times, or you can provide a comma
delimited list with up to 20 pids.  Co-mingling both approaches
is permitted.

A pid value of zero will be treated as the process id of the top
program itself once it is running.

This is a command-line option only and should you wish to return
to normal operation, it is not necessary to quit and restart top
—  just issue any of these interactive commands: `=’, `u’ or
`U’.

The `p’, `u’ and `U’ command-line options are mutually
exclusive.

-s  :Secure-mode operation
Starts top with secure mode forced, even for root.  This mode is
far better controlled through the system configuration file (see
topic 6. FILES).

-S  :Cumulative-time toggle
Starts top with the last remembered `S’ state reversed.  When
Cumulative time mode is On, each process is listed with the cpu
time that it and its dead children have used.  See the `S’
interactive command for additional information regarding this
mode.

-u | -U  :User-filter-mode as:  -u | -U number or name
Display only processes with a user id or user name matching that
given.  The `-u’ option matches on  effective user whereas the
`-U’ option matches on any user (real, effective, saved, or
filesystem).

Prepending an exclamation point (‘!’) to the user id or name
instructs top to display only processes with users not matching
the one provided.

The `p’, `u’ and `U’ command-line options are mutually
exclusive.

-w  :Output-width-override as:  -w [ number ]
In Batch mode, when used without an argument top will format
output using the COLUMNS= and LINES= environment variables, if
set.  Otherwise, width will be fixed at the maximum 512 columns.
With an argument, output width can be decreased or increased (up
to 512) but the number of rows is considered unlimited.

In normal display mode, when used without an argument top will
attempt to format output using the COLUMNS= and LINES=
environment variables, if set.  With an argument, output width
can only be decreased, not increased.  Whether using environment
variables or an argument with -w, when not in Batch mode actual
terminal dimensions can never be exceeded.

Note: Without the use of this command-line option, output width
is always based on the terminal at which top was invoked whether
or not in Batch mode.

2. SUMMARY Display         top

Each of the following three areas are individually controlled through
one or more interactive commands.  See topic 4b. SUMMARY AREA
Commands for additional information regarding these provisions.

2a. UPTIME and LOAD Averages
This portion consists of a single line containing:
program or window name, depending on display mode
current time and length of time since last boot
total number of users
system load avg over the last 1, 5 and 15 minutes

2b. TASK and CPU States
This portion consists of a minimum of two lines.  In an SMP
environment, additional lines can reflect individual CPU state
percentages.

Line 1 shows total tasks or threads, depending on the state of the
Threads-mode toggle.  That total is further classified as:
running; sleeping; stopped; zombie

Line 2 shows CPU state percentages based on the interval since the
last refresh.

As a default, percentages for these individual categories are
displayed.  Where two labels are shown below, those for more recent
kernel versions are shown first.
us, user    : time running un-niced user processes
sy, system  : time running kernel processes
ni, nice    : time running niced user processes
id, idle    : time spent in the kernel idle handler
wa, IO-wait : time waiting for I/O completion
hi : time spent servicing hardware interrupts
si : time spent servicing software interrupts
st : time stolen from this vm by the hypervisor

In the alternate cpu states display modes, beyond the first
tasks/threads line, an abbreviated summary is shown consisting of
these elements:
a    b     c    d
%Cpu(s):  75.0/25.0  100[ …

Where: a) is the combined us and ni percentage; b) is the sy
percentage; c) is the total; and d) is one of two visual graphs of
those representations.  See topic 4b. SUMMARY AREA Commands and the
`t’ command for additional information on that special 4-way toggle.

2c. MEMORY Usage
This portion consists of two lines which may express values in
kibibytes (KiB) through exbibytes (EiB) depending on the scaling
factor enforced with the `E’ interactive command.

As a default, Line 1 reflects physical memory, classified as:
total, free, used and buff/cache

Line 2 reflects mostly virtual memory, classified as:
total, free, used and avail (which is physical memory)

The avail number on line 2 is an estimation of physical memory
available for starting new applications, without swapping.  Unlike
the free field, it attempts to account for readily reclaimable page
cache and memory slabs.  It is available on kernels 3.14, emulated on
kernels 2.6.27+, otherwise the same as free.

In the alternate memory display modes, two abbreviated summary lines
are shown consisting of these elements:
a    b          c
GiB Mem : 18.7/15.738   [ …
GiB Swap:  0.0/7.999    [ …

Where: a) is the percentage used; b) is the total available; and c)
is one of two visual graphs of those representations.

In the case of physical memory, the percentage represents the total
minus the estimated avail noted above.  The `Mem’ graph itself is
divided between used and any remaining memory not otherwise accounted
for by avail.  See topic 4b. SUMMARY AREA Commands and the `m’
command for additional information on that special 4-way toggle.

This table may help in interpreting the scaled values displayed:
KiB = kibibyte = 1024 bytes
MiB = mebibyte = 1024 KiB = 1,048,576 bytes
GiB = gibibyte = 1024 MiB = 1,073,741,824 bytes
TiB = tebibyte = 1024 GiB = 1,099,511,627,776 bytes
PiB = pebibyte = 1024 TiB = 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes
EiB = exbibyte = 1024 PiB = 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes

3. FIELDS / Columns         top

3a. DESCRIPTIONS of Fields
Listed below are top’s available process fields (columns).  They are
shown in strict ascii alphabetical order.  You may customize their
position and whether or not they are displayable with the `f’ or `F’
(Fields Management) interactive commands.

Any field is selectable as the sort field, and you control whether
they are sorted high-to-low or low-to-high.  For additional
information on sort provisions see topic 4c. TASK AREA Commands,
SORTING.

The fields related to physical memory or virtual memory reference
`(KiB)’ which is the unsuffixed display mode.  Such fields may,
however, be scaled from KiB through PiB.  That scaling is influenced
via the `e’ interactive command or established for startup through a
build option.

1. %CPU  —  CPU Usage
The task’s share of the elapsed CPU time since the last screen
update, expressed as a percentage of total CPU time.

In a true SMP environment, if a process is multi-threaded and top
is not operating in Threads mode, amounts greater than 100% may
be reported.  You toggle Threads mode with the `H’ interactive
command.

Also for multi-processor environments, if Irix mode is Off, top
will operate in Solaris mode where a task’s cpu usage will be
divided by the total number of CPUs.  You toggle Irix/Solaris
modes with the `I’ interactive command.

2. %MEM  —  Memory Usage (RES)
A task’s currently used share of available physical memory.

3. CGROUPS  —  Control Groups
The names of the control group(s) to which a process belongs, or
`-‘ if not applicable for that process.

Control Groups provide for allocating resources (cpu, memory,
network bandwidth, etc.) among installation-defined groups of
processes.  They enable fine-grained control over allocating,
denying, prioritizing, managing and monitoring those resources.

Many different hierarchies of cgroups can exist simultaneously on
a system and each hierarchy is attached to one or more
subsystems.  A subsystem represents a single resource.

Note: The CGROUPS field, unlike most columns, is not fixed-width.
When displayed, it plus any other variable width columns will be
allocated all remaining screen width (up to the maximum 512
characters).  Even so, such variable width fields could still
suffer truncation.  See topic 5c. SCROLLING a Window for
additional information on accessing any truncated data.

4. CODE  —  Code Size (KiB)
The amount of physical memory devoted to executable code, also
known as the Text Resident Set size or TRS.

5. COMMAND  —  Command Name or Command Line
Display the command line used to start a task or the name of the
associated program.  You toggle between command line and name
with `c’, which is both a command-line option and an interactive
command.

When you’ve chosen to display command lines, processes without a
command line (like kernel threads) will be shown with only the
program name in brackets, as in this example:
[kthreadd]

This field may also be impacted by the forest view display mode.
See the `V’ interactive command for additional information
regarding that mode.

Note: The COMMAND field, unlike most columns, is not fixed-width.
When displayed, it plus any other variable width columns will be
allocated all remaining screen width (up to the maximum 512
characters).  Even so, such variable width fields could still
suffer truncation.  This is especially true for this field when
command lines are being displayed (the `c’ interactive command.)
See topic 5c. SCROLLING a Window for additional information on
accessing any truncated data.

6. DATA  —  Data + Stack Size (KiB)
The amount of physical memory devoted to other than executable
code, also known as the Data Resident Set size or DRS.

7. ENVIRON  —  Environment variables
Display all of the environment variables, if any, as seen by the
respective processes.  These variables will be displayed in their
raw native order, not the sorted order you are accustomed to
seeing with an unqualified `set’.

Note: The ENVIRON field, unlike most columns, is not fixed-width.
When displayed, it plus any other variable width columns will be
allocated all remaining screen width (up to the maximum 512
characters).  Even so, such variable width fields could still
suffer truncation.  This is especially true for this field.  See
topic 5c. SCROLLING a Window for additional information on
accessing any truncated data.

8. Flags  —  Task Flags
This column represents the task’s current scheduling flags which
are expressed in hexadecimal notation and with zeros suppressed.
These flags are officially documented in <linux/sched.h>.

9. GID  —  Group Id
The effective group ID.

10. GROUP  —  Group Name
The effective group name.

11. NI  —  Nice Value
The nice value of the task.  A negative nice value means higher
priority, whereas a positive nice value means lower priority.
Zero in this field simply means priority will not be adjusted in
determining a task’s dispatch-ability.

12. P  —  Last used CPU (SMP)
A number representing the last used processor.  In a true SMP
environment this will likely change frequently since the kernel
intentionally uses weak affinity.  Also, the very act of running
top may break this weak affinity and cause more processes to
change CPUs more often (because of the extra demand for cpu
time).

13. PGRP  —  Process Group Id
Every process is member of a unique process group which is used
for distribution of signals and by terminals to arbitrate
requests for their input and output.  When a process is created
(forked), it becomes a member of the process group of its parent.
By convention, this value equals the process ID (see PID) of the
first member of a process group, called the process group leader.

14. PID  —  Process Id
The task’s unique process ID, which periodically wraps, though
never restarting at zero.  In kernel terms, it is a dispatchable
entity defined by a task_struct.

This value may also be used as: a process group ID (see PGRP); a
session ID for the session leader (see SID); a thread group ID
for the thread group leader (see TGID); and a TTY process group
ID for the process group leader (see TPGID).

15. PPID  —  Parent Process Id
The process ID (pid) of a task’s parent.

16. PR  —  Priority
The scheduling priority of the task.  If you see `rt’ in this
field, it means the task is running under real time scheduling
priority.

Under linux, real time priority is somewhat misleading since
traditionally the operating itself was not preemptible.  And
while the 2.6 kernel can be made mostly preemptible, it is not
always so.

17. RES  —  Resident Memory Size (KiB)
The non-swapped physical memory a task is using.

18. RUID  —  Real User Id
The real user ID.

19. RUSER  —  Real User Name
The real user name.

20. S  —  Process Status
The status of the task which can be one of:
D = uninterruptible sleep
R = running
S = sleeping
T = stopped by job control signal
t = stopped by debugger during trace
Z = zombie

Tasks shown as running should be more properly thought of as
ready to run  —  their task_struct is simply represented on the
Linux run-queue.  Even without a true SMP machine, you may see
numerous tasks in this state depending on top’s delay interval
and nice value.

21. SHR  —  Shared Memory Size (KiB)
The amount of shared memory available to a task, not all of which
is typically resident.  It simply reflects memory that could be
potentially shared with other processes.

22. SID  —  Session Id
A session is a collection of process groups (see PGRP), usually
established by the login shell.  A newly forked process joins the
session of its creator.  By convention, this value equals the
process ID (see PID) of the first member of the session, called
the session leader, which is usually the login shell.

23. SUID  —  Saved User Id
The saved user ID.

24. SUPGIDS  —  Supplementary Group IDs
The IDs of any supplementary group(s) established at login or
inherited from a task’s parent.  They are displayed in a comma
delimited list.

Note: The SUPGIDS field, unlike most columns, is not fixed-width.
When displayed, it plus any other variable width columns will be
allocated all remaining screen width (up to the maximum 512
characters).  Even so, such variable width fields could still
suffer truncation.  See topic 5c. SCROLLING a Window for
additional information on accessing any truncated data.

25. SUPGRPS  —  Supplementary Group Names
The names of any supplementary group(s) established at login or
inherited from a task’s parent.  They are displayed in a comma
delimited list.

Note: The SUPGRPS field, unlike most columns, is not fixed-width.
When displayed, it plus any other variable width columns will be
allocated all remaining screen width (up to the maximum 512
characters).  Even so, such variable width fields could still
suffer truncation.  See topic 5c. SCROLLING a Window for
additional information on accessing any truncated data.

26. SUSER  —  Saved User Name
The saved user name.

27. SWAP  —  Swapped Size (KiB)
The non-resident portion of a task’s address space.

28. TGID  —  Thread Group Id
The ID of the thread group to which a task belongs.  It is the
PID of the thread group leader.  In kernel terms, it represents
those tasks that share an mm_struct.

29. TIME  —  CPU Time
Total CPU time the task has used since it started.  When
Cumulative mode is On, each process is listed with the cpu time
that it and its dead children have used.  You toggle Cumulative
mode with `S’, which is both a command-line option and an
interactive command.  See the `S’ interactive command for
additional information regarding this mode.

30. TIME+  —  CPU Time, hundredths
The same as TIME, but reflecting more granularity through
hundredths of a second.

31. TPGID  —  Tty Process Group Id
The process group ID of the foreground process for the connected
tty, or -1 if a process is not connected to a terminal.  By
convention, this value equals the process ID (see PID) of the
process group leader (see PGRP).

32. TTY  —  Controlling Tty
The name of the controlling terminal.  This is usually the device
(serial port, pty, etc.) from which the process was started, and
which it uses for input or output.  However, a task need not be
associated with a terminal, in which case you’ll see `?’
displayed.

33. UID  —  User Id
The effective user ID of the task’s owner.

34. USED  —  Memory in Use (KiB)
This field represents the non-swapped physical memory a task has
used (RES) plus the non-resident portion of its address space
(SWAP).

35. USER  —  User Name
The effective user name of the task’s owner.

36. VIRT  —  Virtual Memory Size (KiB)
The total amount of virtual memory used by the task.  It includes
all code, data and shared libraries plus pages that have been
swapped out and pages that have been mapped but not used.

37. WCHAN  —  Sleeping in Function
Depending on the availability of the kernel link map
(System.map), this field will show the name or the address of the
kernel function in which the task is currently sleeping.  Running
tasks will display a dash (‘-‘) in this column.

By displaying this field, top’s own working set could be
increased by over 700Kb, depending on the kernel version.  Should
that occur, your only means of reducing that overhead will be to
stop and restart top.

38. nDRT  —  Dirty Pages Count
The number of pages that have been modified since they were last
written to auxiliary storage.  Dirty pages must be written to
auxiliary storage before the corresponding physical memory
location can be used for some other virtual page.

39. nMaj  —  Major Page Fault Count
The number of major page faults that have occurred for a task.  A
page fault occurs when a process attempts to read from or write
to a virtual page that is not currently present in its address
space.  A major page fault is when auxiliary storage access is
involved in making that page available.

40. nMin  —  Minor Page Fault count
The number of minor page faults that have occurred for a task.  A
page fault occurs when a process attempts to read from or write
to a virtual page that is not currently present in its address
space.  A minor page fault does not involve auxiliary storage
access in making that page available.

41. nTH  —  Number of Threads
The number of threads associated with a process.

42. nsIPC  —  IPC namespace
The Inode of the namespace used to isolate interprocess
communication (IPC) resources such as System V IPC objects and
POSIX message queues.

43. nsMNT  —  MNT namespace
The Inode of the namespace used to isolate filesystem mount
points thus offering different views of the filesystem hierarchy.

44. nsNET  —  NET namespace
The Inode of the namespace used to isolate resources such as
network devices, IP addresses, IP routing, port numbers, etc.

45. nsPID  —  PID namespace
The Inode of the namespace used to isolate process ID numbers
meaning they need not remain unique.  Thus, each such namespace
could have its own `init’ (PID #1) to manage various
initialization tasks and reap orphaned child processes.

46. nsUSER  —  USER namespace
The Inode of the namespace used to isolate the user and group ID
numbers.  Thus, a process could have a normal unprivileged user
ID outside a user namespace while having a user ID of 0, with
full root privileges, inside that namespace.

47. nsUTS  —  UTS namespace
The Inode of the namespace used to isolate hostname and NIS
domain name.  UTS simply means “UNIX Time-sharing System”.

48. vMj  —  Major Page Fault Count Delta
The number of major page faults that have occurred since the last
update (see nMaj).

49. vMn  —  Minor Page Fault Count Delta
The number of minor page faults that have occurred since the last
update (see nMin).

3b. MANAGING Fields
After pressing the interactive command `f’ or `F’ (Fields Management)
you will be presented with a screen showing: 1) the `current’ window
name; 2) the designated sort field; 3) all fields in their current
order along with descriptions.  Entries marked with an asterisk are
the currently displayed fields, screen width permitting.

·  As the on screen instructions indicate, you navigate among the
fields with the Up and Down arrow keys.  The PgUp, PgDn, Home
and End keys can also be used to quickly reach the first or
last available field.

·  The Right arrow key selects a field for repositioning and the
Left arrow key or the <Enter> key commits that field’s
placement.

·  The `d’ key or the <Space> bar toggles a field’s display
status, and thus the presence or absence of the asterisk.

·  The `s’ key designates a field as the sort field.  See topic
4c. TASK AREA Commands, SORTING for additional information
regarding your selection of a sort field.

·  The `a’ and `w’ keys can be used to cycle through all
available windows and the `q’ or <Esc> keys exit Fields
Management.

The Fields Management screen can also be used to change the `current’
window/field group in either full-screen mode or alternate-display
mode.  Whatever was targeted when `q’ or <Esc> was pressed will be
made current as you return to the top display.  See topic 5.
ALTERNATE-DISPLAY Provisions and the `g’ interactive command for
insight into `current’ windows and field groups.

Note: Any window that has been scrolled horizontally will be reset if
any field changes are made via the Fields Management screen.  Any
vertical scrolled position, however, will not be affected.  See topic
5c. SCROLLING a Window for additional information regarding vertical
and horizontal scrolling.

4. INTERACTIVE Commands         top

Listed below is a brief index of commands within categories.  Some
commands appear more than once  —  their meaning or scope may vary
depending on the context in which they are issued.

4a. Global-Commands
<Ent/Sp> ?, =, 0,
A, B, d, E, e, g, h, H, I, k, q, r, s, W, X, Y, Z
4b. Summary-Area-Commands
C, l, t, m, 1, 2, 3
4c. Task-Area-Commands
Appearance:  b, J, j, x, y, z
Content:     c, f, F, o, O, S, u, U, V
Size:        #, i, n
Sorting:     <, >, f, F, R
4d. Color-Mapping
<Ret>, a, B, b, H, M, q, S, T, w, z, 0 – 7
5b. Commands-for-Windows
-, _, =, +, A, a, g, G, w
5c. Scrolling-a-Window
C, Up, Dn, Left, Right, PgUp, PgDn, Home, End
5d. Searching-in-a-Window
L, &

4a. GLOBAL Commands
The global interactive commands are always available in both
full-screen mode and alternate-display mode.  However, some of these
interactive commands are not available when running in Secure mode.

If you wish to know in advance whether or not your top has been
secured, simply ask for help and view the system summary on the
second line.

<Enter> or <Space>  :Refresh-Display
These commands awaken top and following receipt of any input
the entire display will be repainted.  They also force an
update of any hotplugged cpu or physical memory changes.

Use either of these keys if you have a large delay interval
and wish to see current status,

? | h  :Help
There are two help levels available.  The first will provide a
reminder of all the basic interactive commands.  If top is
secured, that screen will be abbreviated.

Typing `h’ or `?’ on that help screen will take you to help
for those interactive commands applicable to alternate-display
mode.

=  :Exit-Task-Limits
Removes restrictions on which tasks are shown.  This command
will reverse any `i’ (idle tasks) and `n’ (max tasks) commands
that might be active.  It also provides for an exit from PID
monitoring, User filtering and Other filtering.  See the `-p’
command-line option for a discussion of PID monitoring, the
`U’ or `u’ interactive commands for User filtering and the `O’
or `o’ interactive commands for Other filtering.

Additionally, any window that has been scrolled will be reset
with this command.  See topic 5c. SCROLLING a Window for
additional information regarding vertical and horizontal
scrolling.

When operating in alternate-display mode this command has a
broader meaning.

0  :Zero-Suppress toggle
This command determines whether zeros are shown or suppressed
for many of the fields in a task window.  Fields like UID,
GID, NI, PR or P are not affected by this toggle.

A  :Alternate-Display-Mode toggle
This command will switch between full-screen mode and
alternate-display mode.  See topic 5. ALTERNATE-DISPLAY
Provisions and the `g’ interactive command for insight into
`current’ windows and field groups.

B  :Bold-Disable/Enable toggle
This command will influence use of the bold terminfo
capability and alters both the summary area and task area for
the `current’ window.  While it is intended primarily for use
with dumb terminals, it can be applied anytime.

Note: When this toggle is On and top is operating in
monochrome mode, the entire display will appear as normal
text.  Thus, unless the `x’ and/or `y’ toggles are using
reverse for emphasis, there will be no visual confirmation
that they are even on.

*  d | s  :Change-Delay-Time-interval
You will be prompted to enter the delay time, in seconds,
between display updates.

Fractional seconds are honored, but a negative number is not
allowed.  Entering 0 causes (nearly) continuous updates, with
an unsatisfactory display as the system and tty driver try to
keep up with top’s demands.  The delay value is inversely
proportional to system loading, so set it with care.

If at any time you wish to know the current delay time, simply
ask for help and view the system summary on the second line.

E  :Extend-Memory-Scale in Summary Area
With this command you can cycle through the available summary
area memory scaling which ranges from KiB (kibibytes or 1,024
bytes) through EiB (exbibytes or 1,152,921,504,606,846,976
bytes).

If you see a `+’ between a displayed number and the following
label, it means that top was forced to truncate some portion
of that number.  By raising the scaling factor, such
truncation can be avoided.

e  :Extend-Memory-Scale in Task Windows
With this command you can cycle through the available task
window memory scaling which ranges from KiB (kibibytes or
1,024 bytes) through PiB (pebibytes or 1,125,899,906,842,624
bytes).

While top will try to honor the selected target range,
additional scaling might still be necessary in order to
accommodate current values.  If you wish to see a more
homogeneous result in the memory columns, raising the scaling
range will usually accomplish that goal.  Raising it too high,
however, is likely to produce an all zero result which cannot
be suppressed with the `0′ interactive command.

g  :Choose-Another-Window/Field-Group
You will be prompted to enter a number between 1 and 4
designating the field group which should be made the `current’
window.  You will soon grow comfortable with these 4 windows,
especially after experimenting with alternate-display mode.

H  :Threads-mode toggle
When this toggle is On, individual threads will be displayed
for all processes in all visible task windows.  Otherwise, top
displays a summation of all threads in each process.

I  :Irix/Solaris-Mode toggle
When operating in Solaris mode (`I’ toggled Off), a task’s cpu
usage will be divided by the total number of CPUs.  After
issuing this command, you’ll be told the new state of this
toggle.

*  k  :Kill-a-task
You will be prompted for a PID and then the signal to send.

Entering no PID or a negative number will be interpreted as
the default shown in the prompt (the first task displayed).  A
PID value of zero means the top program itself.

The default signal, as reflected in the prompt, is SIGTERM.
However, you can send any signal, via number or name.

If you wish to abort the kill process, do one of the following
depending on your progress:
1) at the pid prompt, type an invalid number
2) at the signal prompt, type 0 (or any invalid signal)
3) at any prompt, type <Esc>

q  :Quit

*  r  :Renice-a-Task
You will be prompted for a PID and then the value to nice it
to.

Entering no PID or a negative number will be interpreted as
the default shown in the prompt (the first task displayed).  A
PID value of zero means the top program itself.

A positive nice value will cause a process to lose priority.
Conversely, a negative nice value will cause a process to be
viewed more favorably by the kernel.  As a general rule,
ordinary users can only increase the nice value and are
prevented from lowering it.

If you wish to abort the renice process, do one of the
following depending on your progress:
1) at the pid prompt, type an invalid number
2) at the nice prompt, type <Enter> with no input
3) at any prompt, type <Esc>

W  :Write-the-Configuration-File
This will save all of your options and toggles plus the
current display mode and delay time.  By issuing this command
just before quitting top, you will be able restart later in
exactly that same state.

X  :Extra-Fixed-Width
Some fields are fixed width and not scalable.  As such, they
are subject to truncation which would be indicated by a `+’ in
the last position.

This interactive command can be used to alter the widths of
the following fields:

field  default    field  default    field  default
GID       5       GROUP     8       WCHAN    10
RUID      5       RUSER     8       nsIPC    10
SUID      5       SUSER     8       nsMNT    10
UID       5       USER      8       nsNET    10
TTY       8       nsPID    10
nsUSER   10
nsUTS    10

You will be prompted for the amount to be added to the default
widths shown above.  Entering zero forces a return to those
defaults.

If you enter a negative number, top will automatically
increase the column size as needed until there is no more
truncated data.  You can accelerate this process by reducing
the delay interval or holding down the <Space> bar.

Note: Whether explicitly or automatically increased, the
widths for these fields are never decreased by top.  To narrow
them you must specify a smaller number or restore the
defaults.

Y  :Inspect-Other-Output
After issuing the `Y’ interactive command, you will be
prompted for a target PID.  Typing a value or accepting the
default results in a separate screen.  That screen can be used
to view a variety of files or piped command output while the
normal top iterative display is paused.

Note: This interactive command is only fully realized when
supporting entries have been manually added to the end of the
top configuration file.  For details on creating those
entries, see topic 6c. ADDING INSPECT Entries.

Most of the keys used to navigate the Inspect feature are
reflected in its header prologue.  There are, however,
additional keys available once you have selected a particular
file or command.  They are familiar to anyone who has used the
pager `less’ and are summarized here for future reference.

key      function
=        alternate status-line, file or pipeline
/        find, equivalent to `L’ locate
n        find next, equivalent to `&’ locate next
<Space>  scroll down, equivalent to <PgDn>
b        scroll up, equivalent to <PgUp>
g        first line, equivalent to <Home>
G        last line, equivalent to <End>

Z  :Change-Color-Mapping
This key will take you to a separate screen where you can
change the colors for the `current’ window, or for all
windows.  For details regarding this interactive command see
topic 4d. COLOR Mapping.

*  The commands shown with an asterisk (`*’) are not available in
Secure mode, nor will they be shown on the level-1 help screen.

4b. SUMMARY AREA Commands
The summary area interactive commands are always available in both
full-screen mode and alternate-display mode.  They affect the
beginning lines of your display and will determine the position of
messages and prompts.

These commands always impact just the `current’ window/field group.
See topic 5. ALTERNATE-DISPLAY Provisions and the `g’ interactive
command for insight into `current’ windows and field groups.

C  :Show-scroll-coordinates toggle
Toggle an informational message which is displayed whenever
the message line is not otherwise being used.  For additional
information see topic 5c. SCROLLING a Window.

l  :Load-Average/Uptime toggle
This is also the line containing the program name (possibly an
alias) when operating in full-screen mode or the `current’
window name when operating in alternate-display mode.

t  :Task/Cpu-States toggle
This command affects from 2 to many summary area lines,
depending on the state of the `1′, `2′ or `3′ command toggles
and whether or not top is running under true SMP.

This portion of the summary area is also influenced by the `H’
interactive command toggle, as reflected in the total label
which shows either Tasks or Threads.

This command serves as a 4-way toggle, cycling through these
modes:
1. detailed percentages by category (default)
2. abbreviated user/system and total % + bar graph
3. abbreviated user/system and total % + block graph
4. turn off task and cpu states display

When operating in either of the graphic modes, the display
becomes much more meaningful when individual CPUs or NUMA
nodes are also displayed.  See the the `1′, `2′ and `3′
commands below for additional information.

m  :Memory/Swap-Usage toggle
This command affects the two summary area lines dealing with
physical and virtual memory.

This command serves as a 4-way toggle, cycling through these
modes:
1. detailed percentages by memory type (default)
2. abbreviated % used/total available + bar graph
3. abbreviated % used/total available + block graph
4. turn off memory display

1  :Single/Separate-Cpu-States toggle
This command affects how the `t’ command’s Cpu States portion
is shown.  Although this toggle exists primarily to serve
massively-parallel SMP machines, it is not restricted to
solely SMP environments.

When you see `%Cpu(s):’ in the summary area, the `1′ toggle is
On and all cpu information is gathered in a single line.
Otherwise, each cpu is displayed separately as: `%Cpu0, %Cpu1,
…’  up to available screen height.

2  :NUMA-Nodes/Cpu-Summary toggle
This command toggles between the `1′ command cpu summary
display (only) or a summary display plus the cpu usage
statistics for each NUMA Node.  It is only available if a
system has the requisite NUMA support.

3  :Expand-NUMA-Node
You will be invited to enter a number representing a NUMA
Node.  Thereafter, a node summary plus the statistics for each
cpu in that node will be shown until either the `1′ or `2′
command toggle is pressed.  This interactive command is only
available if a system has the requisite NUMA support.

Note: If the entire summary area has been toggled Off for any window,
you would be left with just the message line.  In that way, you will
have maximized available task rows but (temporarily) sacrificed the
program name in full-screen mode or the `current’ window name when in
alternate-display mode.

4c. TASK AREA Commands
The task area interactive commands are always available in
full-screen mode.

The task area interactive commands are never available in
alternate-display mode if the `current’ window’s task display has
been toggled Off (see topic 5. ALTERNATE-DISPLAY Provisions).

APPEARANCE of task window

J  :Justify-Numeric-Columns toggle
Alternates between right-justified (the default) and left-
justified numeric data.  If the numeric data completely fills
the available column, this command toggle may impact the
column header only.

j  :Justify-Character-Columns toggle
Alternates between left-justified (the default) and right-
justified character data.  If the character data completely
fills the available column, this command toggle may impact the
column header only.

The following commands will also be influenced by the state of the
global `B’ (bold enable) toggle.

b  :Bold/Reverse toggle
This command will impact how the `x’ and `y’ toggles are
displayed.  It may also impact the summary area when a bar
graph has been selected for cpu states or memory usage via the
‘t’ or ‘m’ toggles.

x  :Column-Highlight toggle
Changes highlighting for the current sort field.  If you
forget which field is being sorted this command can serve as a
quick visual reminder, providing the sort field is being
displayed.  The sort field might not be visible because:
1) there is insufficient Screen Width
2) the `f’ interactive command turned it Off

Note: Whenever Searching and/or Other Filtering is active in a
window, column highlighting is temporarily disabled.  See the
notes at the end of topics 5d. SEARCHING and 5e. FILTERING for
an explanation why.

y  :Row-Highlight toggle
Changes highlighting for “running” tasks.  For additional
insight into this task state, see topic 3a. DESCRIPTIONS of
Fields, the `S’ field (Process Status).

Use of this provision provides important insight into your
system’s health.  The only costs will be a few additional tty
escape sequences.

z  :Color/Monochrome toggle
Switches the `current’ window between your last used color
scheme and the older form of black-on-white or white-on-black.
This command will alter both the summary area and task area
but does not affect the state of the `x’, `y’ or `b’ toggles.

CONTENT of task window

c  :Command-Line/Program-Name toggle
This command will be honored whether or not the COMMAND column
is currently visible.  Later, should that field come into
view, the change you applied will be seen.

f | F  :Fields-Management
These keys display a separate screen where you can change
which fields are displayed, their order and also designate the
sort field.  For additional information on these interactive
commands see topic 3b. MANAGING Fields.

o | O  :Other-Filtering
You will be prompted for the selection criteria which then
determines which tasks will be shown in the `current’ window.
Your criteria can be made case sensitive or case can be
ignored.  And you determine if top should include or exclude
matching tasks.

See topic 5e. FILTERING in a window for details on these and
additional related interactive commands.

S  :Cumulative-Time-Mode toggle
When Cumulative mode is On, each process is listed with the
cpu time that it and its dead children have used.

When Off, programs that fork into many separate tasks will
appear less demanding.  For programs like `init’ or a shell
this is appropriate but for others, like compilers, perhaps
not.  Experiment with two task windows sharing the same sort
field but with different `S’ states and see which
representation you prefer.

After issuing this command, you’ll be informed of the new
state of this toggle.  If you wish to know in advance whether
or not Cumulative mode is in effect, simply ask for help and
view the window summary on the second line.

u | U  :Show-Specific-User-Only
You will be prompted for the uid or name of the user to
display.  The -u option matches on  effective user whereas the
-U option matches on any user (real, effective, saved, or
filesystem).

Thereafter, in that task window only matching users will be
shown, or possibly no processes will be shown.  Prepending an
exclamation point (‘!’) to the user id or name instructs top
to display only processes with users not matching the one
provided.

Different task windows can be used to filter different users.
Later, if you wish to monitor all users again in the `current’
window, re-issue this command but just press <Enter> at the
prompt.

V  :Forest-View-Mode toggle
In this mode, processes are reordered according to their
parents and the layout of the COMMAND column resembles that of
a tree.  In forest view mode it is still possible to toggle
between program name and command line (see the `c’ interactive
command) or between processes and threads (see the `H’
interactive command).

Note: Typing any key affecting the sort order will exit forest
view mode in the `current’ window.  See topic 4c. TASK AREA
Commands, SORTING for information on those keys.

SIZE of task window

i  :Idle-Process toggle
Displays all tasks or just active tasks.  When this toggle is
Off, tasks that have not used any CPU since the last update
will not be displayed.  However, due to the granularity of the
%CPU and TIME+ fields, some processes may still be displayed
that appear to have used no CPU.

If this command is applied to the last task display when in
alternate-display mode, then it will not affect the window’s
size, as all prior task displays will have already been
painted.

n | #  :Set-Maximum-Tasks
You will be prompted to enter the number of tasks to display.
The lessor of your number and available screen rows will be
used.

When used in alternate-display mode, this is the command that
gives you precise control over the size of each currently
visible task display, except for the very last.  It will not
affect the last window’s size, as all prior task displays will
have already been painted.

Note: If you wish to increase the size of the last visible
task display when in alternate-display mode, simply decrease
the size of the task display(s) above it.

SORTING of task window

For compatibility, this top supports most of the former top sort
keys.  Since this is primarily a service to former top users,
these commands do not appear on any help screen.
command   sorted-field                  supported
A         start time (non-display)      No
M         %MEM                          Yes
N         PID                           Yes
P         %CPU                          Yes
T         TIME+                         Yes

Before using any of the following sort provisions, top suggests
that you temporarily turn on column highlighting using the `x’
interactive command.  That will help ensure that the actual sort
environment matches your intent.

The following interactive commands will only be honored when the
current sort field is visible.  The sort field might not be
visible because:
1) there is insufficient Screen Width
2) the `f’ interactive command turned it Off

<  :Move-Sort-Field-Left
Moves the sort column to the left unless the current sort
field is the first field being displayed.

>  :Move-Sort-Field-Right
Moves the sort column to the right unless the current sort
field is the last field being displayed.

The following interactive commands will always be honored whether
or not the current sort field is visible.

f | F  :Fields-Management
These keys display a separate screen where you can change
which field is used as the sort column, among other
functions.  This can be a convenient way to simply verify
the current sort field, when running top with column
highlighting turned Off.

R  :Reverse/Normal-Sort-Field toggle
Using this interactive command you can alternate between
high-to-low and low-to-high sorts.

Note: Field sorting uses internal values, not those in column
display.  Thus, the TTY and WCHAN fields will violate strict ASCII
collating sequence.

4d. COLOR Mapping
When you issue the `Z’ interactive command, you will be presented
with a separate screen.  That screen can be used to change the colors
in just the `current’ window or in all four windows before returning
to the top display.

The following interactive commands are available.
4 upper case letters to select a target
8 numbers to select a color
normal toggles available
B         :bold disable/enable
b         :running tasks “bold”/reverse
z         :color/mono
other commands available
a/w       :apply, then go to next/prior
<Enter>   :apply and exit
q         :abandon current changes and exit

If you use `a’ or `w’ to cycle the targeted window, you will have
applied the color scheme that was displayed when you left that
window.  You can, of course, easily return to any window and reapply
different colors or turn colors Off completely with the `z’ toggle.

The Color Mapping screen can also be used to change the `current’
window/field group in either full-screen mode or alternate-display
mode.  Whatever was targeted when `q’ or <Enter> was pressed will be
made current as you return to the top display.

5. ALTERNATE-DISPLAY Provisions         top

5a. WINDOWS Overview
Field Groups/Windows:
In full-screen mode there is a single window represented by the
entire screen.  That single window can still be changed to display
1 of 4 different field groups (see the `g’ interactive command,
repeated below).  Each of the 4 field groups has a unique
separately configurable summary area and its own configurable task
area.

In alternate-display mode, those 4 underlying field groups can now
be made visible simultaneously, or can be turned Off individually
at your command.

The summary area will always exist, even if it’s only the message
line.  At any given time only one summary area can be displayed.
However, depending on your commands, there could be from zero to
four separate task displays currently showing on the screen.

Current Window:
The `current’ window is the window associated with the summary
area and the window to which task related commands are always
directed.  Since in alternate-display mode you can toggle the task
display Off, some commands might be restricted for the `current’
window.

A further complication arises when you have toggled the first
summary area line Off.  With the loss of the window name (the `l’
toggled line), you’ll not easily know what window is the `current’
window.

5b. COMMANDS for Windows
– | _  :Show/Hide-Window(s) toggles
The `-‘ key turns the `current’ window’s task display On and
Off.  When On, that task area will show a minimum of the
columns header you’ve established with the `f’ interactive
command.  It will also reflect any other task area
options/toggles you’ve applied yielding zero or more tasks.

The `_’ key does the same for all task displays.  In other
words, it switches between the currently visible task
display(s) and any task display(s) you had toggled Off.  If
all 4 task displays are currently visible, this interactive
command will leave the summary area as the only display
element.

*  = | +  :Equalize-(reinitialize)-Window(s)
The `=’ key forces the `current’ window’s task display to be
visible.  It also reverses any `i’ (idle tasks), `n’ (max
tasks), `u/U’ (user filter) and `o/O’ (other filter) commands
that might be active.  Also, if the window had been scrolled,
it will be reset with this command.  See topic 5c. SCROLLING a
Window for additional information regarding vertical and
horizontal scrolling.

The `+’ key does the same for all windows.  The four task
displays will reappear, evenly balanced.  They will also have
retained any customizations you had previously applied, except
for the `i’ (idle tasks), `n’ (max tasks), `u/U’ (user
filter), `o/O’ (other filter) and scrolling interactive
commands.

*  A  :Alternate-Display-Mode toggle
This command will switch between full-screen mode and
alternate-display mode.

The first time you issue this command, all four task displays
will be shown.  Thereafter when you switch modes, you will see
only the task display(s) you’ve chosen to make visible.

*  a | w  :Next-Window-Forward/Backward
This will change the `current’ window, which in turn changes
the window to which commands are directed.  These keys act in
a circular fashion so you can reach any desired window using
either key.

Assuming the window name is visible (you have not toggled `l’
Off), whenever the `current’ window name loses its
emphasis/color, that’s a reminder the task display is Off and
many commands will be restricted.

*  g  :Choose-Another-Window/Field-Group
You will be prompted to enter a number between 1 and 4
designating the field group which should be made the `current’
window.

In full-screen mode, this command is necessary to alter the
`current’ window.  In alternate-display mode, it is simply a
less convenient alternative to the `a’ and `w’ commands.

G  :Change-Window/Field-Group-Name
You will be prompted for a new name to be applied to the
`current’ window.  It does not require that the window name be
visible (the `l’ toggle to be On).

*  The interactive commands shown with an asterisk (`*’) have use
beyond alternate-display mode.
=, A, g    are always available
a, w       act the same with color mapping
and fields management

5c. SCROLLING a Window
Typically a task window is a partial view into a systems’s total
tasks/threads which shows only some of the available fields/columns.
With these scrolling keys, you can move that view vertically or
horizontally to reveal any desired task or column.

Up,PgUp  :Scroll-Tasks
Move the view up toward the first task row, until the first task
is displayed at the top of the `current’ window.  The Up arrow
key moves a single line while PgUp scrolls the entire window.

Down,PgDn  :Scroll-Tasks
Move the view down toward the last task row, until the last task
is the only task displayed at the top of the `current’ window.
The Down arrow key moves a single line while PgDn scrolls the
entire window.

Left,Right  :Scroll-Columns
Move the view of displayable fields horizontally one column at a
time.

Note: As a reminder, some fields/columns are not fixed-width but
allocated all remaining screen width when visible.  When
scrolling right or left, that feature may produce some unexpected
results initially.

Additionally, there are special provisions for any variable width
field when positioned as the last displayed field.  Once that
field is reached via the right arrow key, and is thus the only
column shown, you can continue scrolling horizontally within such
a field.  See the `C’ interactive command below for additional
information.

Home  :Jump-to-Home-Position
Reposition the display to the un-scrolled coordinates.

End  :Jump-to-End-Position
Reposition the display so that the rightmost column reflects the
last displayable field and the bottom task row represents the
last task.

Note: From this position it is still possible to scroll down and
right using the arrow keys.  This is true until a single column
and a single task is left as the only display element.

C  :Show-scroll-coordinates toggle
Toggle an informational message which is displayed whenever the
message line is not otherwise being used.  That message will take
one of two forms depending on whether or not a variable width
column has also been scrolled.

scroll coordinates: y = n/n (tasks), x = n/n (fields)
scroll coordinates: y = n/n (tasks), x = n/n (fields) + nn

The coordinates shown as n/n are relative to the upper left
corner of the `current’ window.  The additional `+ nn’ represents
the displacement into a variable width column when it has been
scrolled horizontally.  Such displacement occurs in normal 8
character tab stop amounts via the right and left arrow keys.

y = n/n (tasks)
The first n represents the topmost visible task and is
controlled by scrolling keys.  The second n is updated
automatically to reflect total tasks.

x = n/n (fields)
The first n represents the leftmost displayed column and is
controlled by scrolling keys.  The second n is the total
number of displayable fields and is established with the `f’
interactive command.

The above interactive commands are always available in full-screen
mode but never available in alternate-display mode if the `current’
window’s task display has been toggled Off.

Note: When any form of filtering is active, you can expect some
slight aberrations when scrolling since not all tasks will be
visible.  This is particularly apparent when using the Up/Down arrow
keys.

5d. SEARCHING in a Window
You can use these interactive commands to locate a task row
containing a particular value.

L  :Locate-a-string
You will be prompted for the case-sensitive string to locate
starting from the current window coordinates.  There are no
restrictions on search string content.

Searches are not limited to values from a single field or column.
All of the values displayed in a task row are allowed in a search
string.  You may include spaces, numbers, symbols and even forest
view artwork.

Keying <Enter> with no input will effectively disable the `&’ key
until a new search string is entered.

&  :Locate-next
Assuming a search string has been established, top will attempt
to locate the next occurrence.

When a match is found, the current window is repositioned vertically
so the task row containing that string is first.  The scroll
coordinates message can provide confirmation of such vertical
repositioning (see the `C’ interactive command).  Horizontal
scrolling, however, is never altered via searching.

The availability of a matching string will be influenced by the
following factors.

a. Which fields are displayable from the total available,
see topic 3b. MANAGING Fields.

b. Scrolling a window vertically and/or horizontally,
see topic 5c. SCROLLING a Window.

c. The state of the command/command-line toggle,
see the `c’ interactive command.

d. The stability of the chosen sort column,
for example PID is good but %CPU bad.

If a search fails, restoring the `current’ window home (unscrolled)
position, scrolling horizontally, displaying command-lines or
choosing a more stable sort field could yet produce a successful `&’
search.

The above interactive commands are always available in full-screen
mode but never available in alternate-display mode if the `current’
window’s task display has been toggled Off.

Note: Whenever a Search is active in a window, top will turn column
highlighting Off to prevent false matches on internal non-display
escape sequences.  Such highlighting will be restored when a window’s
search string is empty.  See the `x’ interactive command for
additional information on sort column highlighting.

5e. FILTERING in a Window
You can use this Other Filter feature to establish selection criteria
which will then determine which tasks are shown in the `current’
window.

Establishing a filter requires: 1) a field name; 2) an operator; and
3) a selection value, as a minimum.  This is the most complex of
top’s user input requirements so, when you make a mistake, command
recall will be your friend.  Remember the Up/Down arrow keys or their
aliases when prompted for input.

Filter Basics

1. field names are case sensitive and spelled as in the header

2. selection values need not comprise the full displayed field

3. a selection is either case insensitive or sensitive to case

4. the default is inclusion, prepending `!’ denotes exclusions

5. multiple selection criteria can be applied to a task window

6. inclusion and exclusion criteria can be used simultaneously

7. the 1 equality and 2 relational filters can be freely mixed

8. separate unique filters are maintained for each task window

If a field is not turned on or is not currently in view, then your
selection criteria will not affect the display.  Later, should a
filtered field become visible, the selection criteria will then be
applied.

Keyboard Summary

o  :Other-Filter (lower case)
You will be prompted to establish a filter that ignores case
when matching.

O  :Other-Filter (upper case)
You will be prompted to establish a case sensitive filter.

^O  :Show-Active-Filters (Ctrl key + `o’)
This can serve as a reminder of which filters are active in the
`current’ window.  A summary will be shown on the message line
until you press the <Enter> key.

=  :Reset-Filtering in current window
This clears all of your selection criteria in the `current’
window.  It also has additional impact so please see topic 4a.
GLOBAL Commands.

+  :Reset-Filtering in all windows
This clears the selection criteria in all windows, assuming you
are in alternate-display mode.  As with the `=’ interactive
command, it too has additional consequences so you might wish
to see topic 5b. COMMANDS for Windows.

Input Requirements

When prompted for selection criteria, the data you provide must
take one of two forms.  There are 3 required pieces of
information, with a 4th as optional.  These examples use spaces
for clarity but your input generally would not.
#1           #2  #3              ( required )
Field-Name   ?   include-if-value
!  Field-Name   ?   exclude-if-value
#4                                  ( optional )

Items #1, #3 and #4 should be self-explanatory.  Item #2
represents both a required delimiter and the operator which must
be one of either equality (`=’) or relation (`<‘ or `>’).

The `=’ equality operator requires only a partial match and that
can reduce your `if-value’ input requirements.  The `>’ or `<‘
relational operators always employ string comparisons, even with
numeric fields.  They are designed to work with a field’s default
justification and with homogeneous data.  When some field’s
numeric amounts have been subjected to scaling while others have
not, that data is no longer homogeneous.

If you establish a relational filter and you have changed the
default Numeric or Character justification, that filter is likely
to fail.  When a relational filter is applied to a memory field
and you have not changed the scaling, it may produce misleading
results.  This happens, for example, because `100.0m’ (MiB) would
appear greater than `1.000g’ (GiB) when compared as strings.

If your filtered results appear suspect, simply altering
justification or scaling may yet achieve the desired objective.
See the `j’, `J’ and `e’ interactive commands for additional
information.

Potential Problems

These GROUP filters could produce the exact same results or the
second one might not display anything at all, just a blank task
window.
GROUP=root        ( only the same results when )
GROUP=ROOT        ( invoked via lower case `o’ )

Either of these RES filters might yield inconsistent and/or
misleading results, depending on the current memory scaling
factor.  Or both filters could produce the exact same results.
RES>9999          ( only the same results when )
!RES<10000        ( memory scaling is at `KiB’ )

This nMin filter illustrates a problem unique to scalable fields.
This particular field can display a maximum of 4 digits, beyond
which values are automatically scaled to KiB or above.  So while
amounts greater than 9999 exist, they will appear as 2.6m, 197k,
etc.
nMin>9999         ( always a blank task window )

Potential Solutions

These examples illustrate how Other Filtering can be creatively
applied to achieve almost any desired result.  Single quotes are
sometimes shown to delimit the spaces which are part of a filter
or to represent a request for status (^O) accurately.  But if you
used them with if-values in real life, no matches would be found.

Assuming field nTH is displayed, the first filter will result in
only multi-threaded processes being shown.  It also reminds us
that a trailing space is part of every displayed field.  The
second filter achieves the exact same results with less typing.
!nTH=` 1 ‘                ( ‘ for clarity only )
nTH>1                     ( same with less i/p )

With Forest View mode active and the COMMAND column in view, this
filter effectively collapses child processes so that just 3 levels
are shown.
!COMMAND=`       `- ‘     ( ‘ for clarity only )

The final two filters appear as in response to the status request
key (^O).  In reality, each filter would have required separate
input.  The PR example shows the two concurrent filters necessary
to display tasks with priorities of 20 or more, since some might
be negative.  Then by exploiting trailing spaces, the nMin series
of filters could achieve the failed `9999′ objective discussed
above.
`PR>20’ + `!PR=-‘         ( 2 for right result )
`!nMin=0 ‘ + `!nMin=1 ‘ + `!nMin=2 ‘ + `!nMin=3 ‘ …

Note: Whenever Other Filtering is active in a window, top will turn
column highlighting Off to prevent false matches on internal non-
display escape sequences.  Such highlighting will be restored when a
window is no longer subject to filtering.  See the `x’ interactive
command for additional information on sort column highlighting.

6. FILES         top

6a. SYSTEM Configuration File
The presence of this file will influence which version of the help
screen is shown to an ordinary user.  More importantly, it will limit
what ordinary users are allowed to do when top is running.  They will
not be able to issue the following commands.
k        Kill a task
r        Renice a task
d or s   Change delay/sleep interval

The system configuration file is not created by top.  Rather, you
create this file manually and place it in the /etc directory.  Its
name must be `toprc’ and must have no leading `.’ (period).  It must
have only two lines.

Here is an example of the contents of /etc/toprc:
s        # line 1: secure mode switch
5.0      # line 2: delay interval in seconds

6b. PERSONAL Configuration File
This file is written as `$HOME/.your-name-4-top’ + `rc’.  Use the `W’
interactive command to create it or update it.

Here is the general layout:
global   # line  1: the program name/alias notation
”      # line  2: id,altscr,irixps,delay,curwin
per ea   # line  a: winname,fieldscur
window   # line  b: winflags,sortindx,maxtasks,graph modes
”      # line  c: summclr,msgsclr,headclr,taskclr
global   # line 15: additional miscellaneous settings
”      # any remaining lines are devoted to the
”      # generalized inspect provisions
”      # discussed below

If the $HOME variable is not present, top will try to write the
personal configuration file to the current directory, subject to
permissions.

6c. ADDING INSPECT Entries
To exploit the `Y’ interactive command, you must add entries at the
end of the top personal configuration file.  Such entries simply
reflect a file to be read or command/pipeline to be executed whose
results will then be displayed in a separate scrollable, searchable
window.

If you don’t know the location or name of your top rcfile, use the
`W’ interactive command to rewrite it and note those details.

Inspect entries can be added with a redirected echo or by editing the
configuration file.  Redirecting an echo risks overwriting the rcfile
should it replace (>) rather than append (>>) to that file.
Conversely, when using an editor care must be taken not to corrupt
existing lines, some of which will contain unprintable data or
unusual characters.

Those Inspect entries beginning with a `#’ character are ignored,
regardless of content.  Otherwise they consist of the following 3
elements, each of which must be separated by a tab character (thus 2
`\t’ total):

.type:  literal `file’ or `pipe’
.name:  selection shown on the Inspect screen
.fmts:  string representing a path or command

The two types of Inspect entries are not interchangeable.  Those
designated `file’ will be accessed using fopen and must reference a
single file in the `.fmts’ element.  Entries specifying `pipe’ will
employ popen, their `.fmts’ element could contain many pipelined
commands and, none can be interactive.

If the file or pipeline represented in your `.fmts’ deals with the
specific PID input or accepted when prompted, then the format string
must also contain the `%d’ specifier, as these examples illustrate.

.fmts=  /proc/%d/numa_maps
.fmts=  lsof -P -p %d

For `pipe’ type entries only, you may also wish to redirect stderr to
stdout for a more comprehensive result.  Thus the format string
becomes:

.fmts=  pmap -x %d 2>&1

Here are examples of both types of Inspect entries as they might
appear in the rcfile.  The first entry will be ignored due to the
initial `#’ character.  For clarity, the pseudo tab depictions (^I)
are surrounded by an extra space but the actual tabs would not be.

# pipe ^I Sockets ^I lsof -n -P -i 2>&1
pipe ^I Open Files ^I lsof -P -p %d 2>&1
file ^I NUMA Info ^I /proc/%d/numa_maps
pipe ^I Log ^I tail -n100 /var/log/syslog | sort -Mr

Except for the commented entry above, these next examples show what
could be echoed to achieve similar results, assuming the rcfile name
was `.toprc’.  However, due to the embedded tab characters, each of
these lines should be preceded by `/bin/echo -e’, not just a simple
an `echo’, to enable backslash interpretation regardless of which
shell you use.

“pipe\tOpen Files\tlsof -P -p %d 2>&1” >> ~/.toprc
“file\tNUMA Info\t/proc/%d/numa_maps” >> ~/.toprc
“pipe\tLog\ttail -n200 /var/log/syslog | sort -Mr” >> ~/.toprc

Caution: If any inspect entry you create produces output with
unprintable characters they will be displayed in either the ^C
notation or hexadecimal <FF> form, depending on their value.  This
applies to tab characters as well, which will show as `^I’.  If you
want a truer representation, any embedded tabs should be expanded.

# next would have contained `\t’ …
# file ^I <your_name> ^I /proc/%d/status
# but this will eliminate embedded `\t’ …
pipe ^I <your_name> ^I cat /proc/%d/status | expand –

The above example takes what could have been a `file’ entry but
employs a `pipe’ instead so as to expand the embedded tabs.

Note: While `pipe’ type entries have been discussed in terms of
pipelines and commands, there is nothing to prevent you from
including  shell scripts as well.  Perhaps even newly created scripts
designed specifically for the `Y’ interactive command.

Lastly, as the number of your Inspect entries grows over time, the
`Options:’ row will be truncated when screen width is exceeded.  That
does not affect operation other than to make some selections
invisible.

However, if some choices are lost to truncation but you want to see
more options, there is an easy solution hinted at below.

Inspection Pause at pid …
Use:  left/right then <Enter> …
Options:  help  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11 …

The entries in the top rcfile would have a number for the `.name’
element and the `help’ entry would identify a shell script you’ve
written explaining what those numbered selections actually mean.  In
that way, many more choices can be made visible.

7. STUPID TRICKS Sampler         top

Many of these tricks work best when you give top a scheduling boost.
So plan on starting him with a nice value of -10, assuming you’ve got
the authority.

7a. Kernel Magic
For these stupid tricks, top needs full-screen mode.

·  The user interface, through prompts and help, intentionally
implies that the delay interval is limited to tenths of a second.
However, you’re free to set any desired delay.  If you want to see
Linux at his scheduling best, try a delay of .09 seconds or less.

For this experiment, under x-windows open an xterm and maximize
it.  Then do the following:
. provide a scheduling boost and tiny delay via:
nice -n -10 top -d.09
. keep sorted column highlighting Off so as to
minimize path length
. turn On reverse row highlighting for emphasis
. try various sort columns (TIME/MEM work well),
and normal or reverse sorts to bring the most
active processes into view

What you’ll see is a very busy Linux doing what he’s always done
for you, but there was no program available to illustrate this.

·  Under an xterm using `white-on-black’ colors, on top’s Color
Mapping screen set the task color to black and be sure that task
highlighting is set to bold, not reverse.  Then set the delay
interval to around .3 seconds.

After bringing the most active processes into view, what you’ll
see are the ghostly images of just the currently running tasks.

·  Delete the existing rcfile, or create a new symlink.  Start this
new version then type `T’ (a secret key, see topic 4c. Task Area
Commands, SORTING) followed by `W’ and `q’.  Finally, restart the
program with -d0 (zero delay).

Your display will be refreshed at three times the rate of the
former top, a 300% speed advantage.  As top climbs the TIME
ladder, be as patient as you can while speculating on whether or
not top will ever reach the top.

7b. Bouncing Windows
For these stupid tricks, top needs alternate-display mode.

·  With 3 or 4 task displays visible, pick any window other than the
last and turn idle processes Off using the `i’ command toggle.
Depending on where you applied `i’, sometimes several task
displays are bouncing and sometimes it’s like an accordion, as top
tries his best to allocate space.

·  Set each window’s summary lines differently: one with no memory
(‘m’); another with no states (‘t’); maybe one with nothing at
all, just the message line.  Then hold down `a’ or `w’ and watch a
variation on bouncing windows  —  hopping windows.

·  Display all 4 windows and for each, in turn, set idle processes to
Off using the `i’ command toggle.  You’ve just entered the
“extreme bounce” zone.

7c. The Big Bird Window
This stupid trick also requires alternate-display mode.

·  Display all 4 windows and make sure that 1:Def is the `current’
window.  Then, keep increasing window size with the `n’
interactive command until all the other task displays are “pushed
out of the nest”.

When they’ve all been displaced, toggle between all
visible/invisible windows using the `_’ command toggle.  Then
ponder this:
is top fibbing or telling honestly your imposed truth?

7d. The Ol’ Switcheroo
This stupid trick works best without alternate-display mode, since
justification is active on a per window basis.

·  Start top and make COMMAND the last (rightmost) column displayed.
If necessary, use the `c’ command toggle to display command lines
and ensure that forest view mode is active with the `V’ command
toggle.

Then use the up/down arrow keys to position the display so that
some truncated command lines are shown (`+’ in last position).
You may have to resize your xterm to produce truncation.

Lastly, use the `j’ command toggle to make the COMMAND column
right justified.

Now use the right arrow key to reach the COMMAND column.
Continuing with the right arrow key, watch closely the direction
of travel for the command lines being shown.

some lines travel left, while others travel right

eventually all lines will Switcheroo, and move right

8. BUGS         top

To report bugs, follow the instructions at:
http://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting

9. HISTORY Former top         top

The original top was written by Roger Binns, based on Branko
Lankester’s <[email protected]> ps program.

Robert Nation <[email protected]> adapted it for the
proc file system.

Helmut Geyer <[email protected]> added support for
configurable fields.

Plus many other individuals contributed over the years.

10. AUTHOR         top

This entirely new and enhanced replacement was written by:
Jim Warner, <[email protected]>

With invaluable help from:
Craig Small, <[email protected]>
Albert Cahalan, <[email protected]>

11. SEE Also         top

free(1), ps(1), uptime(1), atop(1), slabtop(1), vmstat(8), w(1).

COLOPHON         top

This page is part of the procps-ng (/proc filesystem utilities)
project.  Information about the project can be found at
⟨http://sourceforge.net/projects/procps-ng/⟩.  If you have a bug
report for this manual page, see
⟨http://sourceforge.net/p/procps-ng/tickets/⟩.  This page was obtained
from the project’s upstream Git repository
(https://gitorious.org/procps) on 2014-12-30.  If you discover any
rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe
there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
(which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to
[email protected]

procps-ng                         July 2014                           TOP(1)

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