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I've been running the following command on my linux box:

watch -d -n 1 "cat /proc/19866/stat"

The pid above is a pid of Nginx's master process - I would expect the following fields to be changing: 14, 15, 16 and 17 as according to kernel docs those should contain amount of time the process has been scheduled in user/kernel mode (14,15) and its children too (16,17), however running this command in watch I noticed that none of those numbers ever change. Can someone shed a bit more light on this ? I'd like to count some CPU usage stats per process and I thought /proc.. was the place to look. Thanks!

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Try constructing a simple shell script using the ps command. Based on the implementation, you can get the command to output only those fields that are interesting to you.

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    but isn't ps reading from /proc too ? At least that's what I thought it was doing... – milosgajdos Jan 6 '13 at 1:50

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