I am looking for a command or a script to get the processes currently run by users in the system. I tried the ps -Af command, however, all the processes including the root processes pop up. Is there any command to get the processes run only by user? Otherwise I need some help in writing a script to take out the root processes from the ps -Af command.

  • pipe the results through grep. Nov 14, 2013 at 23:33
  • @Preet: For that to be useful, you'd need to show a way to check just the username and not match filenames and commander-line arguments.
    – Ben Voigt
    Nov 14, 2013 at 23:41
  • Question belongs on Super User or Unix & Linux
    – Stephen P
    Nov 15, 2013 at 2:06

6 Answers 6


If you want to remove root, just do your ps -Af and pipe it though grep:

ps -Af | grep -v root

Of course, this is sloppy. If you're running a program called troot, you'll lose that as well. You can be more precise using awk and removing any line that has root in the right column. I don't have the output from ps -Af in front of me, but for the sake of argument, let's assume the userid is in the 3rd column. In that case, you'd want to do this:

ps -Af | awk '$3 != "root" { print $0 }'
  • 1
    On my system the user is in the first column, so a simple ps -Af | grep -v '^root' would do.
    – pfnuesel
    Nov 15, 2013 at 0:06

This will give you every process NOT owned by root:

ps -N -u root 

ps --deselect -U root. The --deselect inverts the logic of -U root.


how about ps -U <username> (works on MacOSX) or pipe through grep

ps -Af | grep -v 'root' should show all processes not owned by root. But beware, grep will not be limited to the username. A process exposing some path containing "root" will also be removed from the result.


You shoud try whowatch

It gives you a nice overview of which users are logged in, which processed they currently run and so on


ps -Af | grep -v root is not perfect. try ps -Af | awk '$1 != "root" {print $0}'

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