I am running Babun with oh-my-zsh on a Windows machine. When I run the ps command without any arguments I get the following output:

     9660    7492    9660       9236  pty0    39904   Jun 12 /usr/bin/zsh
S    8072    9660    8072      12068  pty0    39904   Jun 13 /usr/bin/vim
    13296    9660   13296      12572  pty0    39904 14:29:08 /usr/bin/ps
     7480    7492    7492      19156  ?       39904   Jun 15 /usr/bin/mintty <defunct>
     7492       1    7492       7492  ?       39904   Jun 12 /usr/bin/mintty

The line that lists PID 8072 (/usr/bin/vim) has an "S" in its own column to the left of everything else. The column does not have a header.

What does this "S" mean?

  • 1
    Please post text as text, not as a screenshot image. – G-Man Jun 18 at 18:45
up vote 0 down vote accepted

That column is for the process state code as discussed in the ps man page. S refers to an interruptible sleep which means that this process is waiting for an event to complete before resuming.

Open text editors(like Vim, Nano, Sublime Text, etc.) are commonly in the S state since they are waiting for additional input from the user to read or write to a file.

See here for a more detailed resource on process states. Although some of this information will vary since you're running a Windows machine. It might be best to only see this as a reference when in the command line and specifically with the ps command.

  • Excellent resources, thank you @baelx! Babun's man ps responds with "No manual entry for ps", and ps --help displays very limited information - the links you provided are a big help. – rdbrnk Jun 18 at 20:46
  • Happy to help! Please accept my submission if you found it answered your question and in doing so you'll be participating in the SuperUser community :) – baelx Jun 18 at 20:52

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