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Does anyone know the difference of ps -awx vs. ps -awwx?

I'm tracking down some processes, and I see significantly more information when I add an additional "w". Does this work like in other cases (such as SSH debugging) when you issue multiple "v", the more "verbose" the output is? I didn't see anything in the man pages about this.

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man ps: "-w Wide output. Use this option twice for unlimited width." –  Dennis Williamson Feb 7 '11 at 20:56

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Quoth the man page (man ps):

 -w      Use 132 columns to display information, instead of the default which is your window
         size.  If the -w option is specified more than once, ps will use as many columns
         as necessary without regard for your window size.  
         When output is not to a terminal, an unlimited number of columns are always used.

Note that the above is from a BSD manpage. A debian manpage is somewhat more terse/less specific, but similar:

        -w              Wide output. Use this option twice for unlimited width.
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I must be reading a manpage that is "less" specific. Sorry. –  drewrockshard Feb 7 '11 at 21:17
1  
If your distribution's manpage doesn't even mention -w you should publicly name-and-shame them –  voretaq7 Feb 7 '11 at 21:52

The -w switch says to use Wide output but the width is limited. Using -ww says to use unlimited width output so you get to see the full command line for a command wrapped as many times as it takes. Adding additional ws beyond 2 has no effect.

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