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I would like to find a tool such as top, that runs in a terminal, but that keeps a cumulative total of real/user/system time used.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Found it... "top -S"

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top already keeps a cumulative total of time spent on the cpu (user+system) I believe. That's what's listed in the TIME+ field:

 5117 michael   20   0  508m 238m  30m R   16  6.1   7:55.47 firefox
 3135 root      20   0  194m  53m  14m S    8  1.4  26:37.08 X
 4359 michael   20   0  117m  83m  14m S    1  2.1  17:59.34 gnome-panel

'real time' probably isn't that interesting to watch - it's just the amount of elapsed time since the process started.

If you're interested in hacking it up yourself, everything you need is in /proc/*/stat :)

Or try using ps:

ps -eo pid,user,args,etime,time,%cpu --sort %cpu
watch -n1 ps -eo pid,user,args,etime,time,%cpu --sort -%cpu

(the very last line is probably closest to what you actually ask :)

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I don't know if I understand correctly, but top -a (or top -c a) is the cumulative mode of top on Mac OS X.

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Tried it... "top: unknown argument 'a'" – dacracot Oct 13 '09 at 19:26
It's top -S for the version I have. – Dennis Williamson Oct 13 '09 at 19:27
Strange, on Mac OS X, there's no -S argument. Different OS, different arguments. – Studer Oct 13 '09 at 19:39
Not that strange. I work on Linux, Solaris, and AIX, and they all use different flags for common things. It'll make you crazy. – Satanicpuppy Oct 13 '09 at 19:57

The only problem with "top -S", "ps --cumulative" or "pidstat -T ALL" that they only add exited processes' times to parents'. Thus you can't monitor CPU time usage real time, if child processes don't exit too often.

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