A tool to show process fork/exec/exit activity.
forkstat [-d] [-D] [-e] [-h] [-s] [-S] [-q]
Forkstat is a program that logs process fork(), exec(), exit(), coredump and process name change activity. It is useful for monitoring system behaviour and to track down rogue processes that are spawning off processes and potentially abusing the system.
Note that forkstat uses the Linux netlink connector to gather process activity and this may miss events if the system is overly busy. Netlink connector also requires root privilege.
Forkstat will display several columns of process related information:
|Time||When the fork/exec/exit event occurred.|
|Event||Type of event.|
|PID||Process or thread ID.|
|Info||Parent or child if a fork, or exit value.|
|Duration||On exit, the duration the command ran for in seconds.|
|Process||The process name. The name will be in [ ] brackets if it is a kernel thread.|
forkstat options are as follow:
strip off the directory path from the process name.
specify duration in seconds to run forkstat.
specify events to trace as a comma seperated list. By default the fork, exec and exit events are traced. Available events are:
|fork||forks (or clones)|
|comm||process name changes in comm field|
|all||all the events above|
show brief help summary.
show short process name information.
show event statistics.
run quietly and enable the -S option.
Show process activity with short process names and directory base path stripped off:
forkstat -s -d
Trace forks and core dumps only:
forkstat -e fork,core
Trace all events and print statistics at end:
forkstat -e all -S
Trace all events for 10 minutes:
forkstat -e all -D 600