Is there any way to get pgrep to give me all the info about each process that ps does? I know I can pipe ps through grep but that's a lot of typing and it also gives me the grep process itself which I don't want.


pgrep's output options are pretty limited. You will almost certainly need to send it back through ps to get the important information out. You could automate this by using a bash function in your ~/.bashrc.

function ppgrep() { pgrep "$@" | xargs --no-run-if-empty ps fp; }

Then call the command with.

ppgrep <pattern>
  • 2
    Thanks! I modified it to: function ppgrep() { pgrep "$@" | xargs ps fp 2> /dev/null; } Otherwise, if no processes match your search, it dumps a whole ps usage megilla. – JoelFan Dec 10 '10 at 4:17
  • On OS X, the ps needs a hyphen for the flags: function ppgrep() { pgrep "$@" | xargs ps -fp 2> /dev/null; } – Erik Nomitch Sep 29 '15 at 11:34
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    If you want to avoid the ps usage page, GNU xargs has an option, -r that will only execute the command if it has received a list. – Doug Apr 22 '16 at 3:19
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    More concise way is ps fp $(pgrep -d, "$@") – Igor Mikushkin Apr 12 at 15:09

Combine pgrep with ps using xargs!

pgrep <your pgrep-criteria> | xargs ps <your ps options> -p

For example try

pgrep -u user | xargs ps -f -p

to get a full process list of user.

It's nice that you keep the first line with the column names. grep always drops the column names.

  • excellent! this resolves a strange problem with arcgis server startup script for xfvb – prusswan Jul 17 '14 at 11:25
  • This should be the accepted answer, because it uses unix pipes in a proper way, taking a list of PIDs from one tool and feeding back into another (if it seems like hackery, it's not - this technique can be used in LOTS of UNIX tools, like email grep tools. The Bash function ppgrep() is an unnecessary dependency, and avoids confronting the learning opportunity presented here.) – Crossfit_and_Beer Jul 24 '17 at 16:33

The following only gives you PID + full command-line. For "all the info ps does", see other answers...

Most linuxes use procps-ng. Since 3.3.4 (released in 2012), pgrep -a (--list-full) shows the full command line.
Note: By default pgrep only matches the pattern you give against the executable name. If you want to match against the full command line (as grepping ps does), add the -f (--full) option.

In older versions (including the original procps project), -l option showed info but it's behavior varied:

  • pgrep -fl matched the pattern against full command line and showed the full command line.
  • pgrep -l alone matched only executable name and showed only executable name.
    If you don't want full match, you couldn't see the full command line :-( [https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=526355#15]

Not sure what code *BSD use but their man page documents the old -fl behavior.

Unfortunately you can't even use -fl portably - in recent procps-ng, -f (--list-name) always prints only the executable name.



For the GNU version of pgrep the -i (case-insensitivity) is not supported, and long + fuzzy output is achieved with -af.

$ pgrep -af apache

    1748 /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start

Man page:

   -a, --list-full
       List  the  full  command line as well as the process ID.  (pgrep only.)

   -f, --full
       The pattern is normally only matched against the process name.  
       When -f is set, the full command  line is used.


On OSX (and by inference, on BSD) -l (long output) in combination with -f (match against full argument lists) will display the complete command (-i adds case-insensitivity):

$ pgrep -fil ssh

    33770 ssh: abc@ [mux] t

The man page:

 -l          Long output.  For pgrep, print the
             process name in addition to the
             process ID for each matching
             process.  If used in conjunction
             with -f, print the process ID and
             the full argument list for each
             matching process.  For pkill, dis-
             play the kill command used for
             each process killed.

Use the -v option to grep - it returns everything BUT the requested pattern.

ps -ef | grep <process> | grep -v grep
  • This was the best answer for me. It shows you the full command without being truncated as it happens with pgrep -u user | xargs ps -f -p – BringBackCommodore64 Oct 20 '16 at 16:19

I don't think there is, the most information you can get is the name and process id by using the -l option to pgrep.

ps supports all sorts of formatting options, so I would just make an alias for what you want to save the typing. A simple way to exclude the grep process from the output us to include an additional pipe to grep -v grep to exclude any grep processes.


In order to eliminate the grep process, you can use brackets as part of your pattern:

ps -ef | grep '[t]ty'

You can do this with ps and pgrep:

ps -fp $(pgrep -d, tty)

This will help you I guess:

ps auxww

  • 2
    Can you please elaborate. More info would improve this answer – Dave M Jul 23 '15 at 15:19

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