Viewing files and processes as trees on Linux

Viewing files and processes as trees on Linux

Linux provides several handy commands for viewing both files and processes in a branching, tree-like format that makes it easy to view how they are related. In this post, we’ll look at the ps, pstree and tree commands along with some options they provide to help focus your view on what you want to see.


The ps command that we all use to list processes has some interesting options that many of us never take advantage of. While the commonly used ps -ef provides a complete listing of running processes, the ps -ejH command adds a nice effect. It indents related processes to make the relationship between these processes visually more clear  – as in this excerpt:

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