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PSTREE(1) BSD General Commands Manual PSTREE(1)


pstree — list processes as a tree


pstree [−Uw] [−f file] [−g n] [−l n] [−p pid] [−s string] [−u user] [rootpid ...]


Tree sorted output frontend for ps(1). pstree uses the output of the ps(1) program to show nicely formatted process family trees.

For each rootpid argument, pstree shows one tree rooted at that process. By default, if no rootpid argument is given, it shows a single tree rooted at process 1.

The options are as follows:

−f file

Read input from file instead of running “ps -kaxwwo user,pid,ppid,pgid,command”. If file is a single dash (‘-’), pstree reads from standard input.

−g n

Use graphics chars for tree. n = 1: IBM-850, n = 2: VT100, n = 3: UTF8.

−l n

Show a maximum of n levels.

−p pid

Show only parents and descendants of the process pid.

−s string

Show only parents and descendants of processes containing the string in their commandline.


Do not show branches containing only root processes.

−u user

Show only parents and descendants of processes of user.


Wide output, not truncated to terminal width.


The width of the terminal in characters. This can be set with stty(1) columns number.


The pstree utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


Show branches of processes containing “httpd” using VT100 graphic chars:

$ pstree -g 2 -s httpd

Show process number “15495” and its descendants:

$ pstree 15495

Show process number “15495” and its parents and descendants:

$ pstree -p 15495


ps(1), top(1)


The program was written and is maintained by Fred Hucht <fred@thp.uni-due.de>, and this manual page was initially set up by
Sebastian Stark.

BSD June 4, 2013 BSD