Linux Processes and Services

  1. Introduction to Linux
  2. Getting Started with Linux
  3. Linux File System
  4. Users, Groups, and Permissions
  5. Linux Processes and Services
  6. Package Management in Linux
  7. Text Editors in Linux
  8. Shell Scripting Basics
  9. Linux Networking Fundamentals
  10. File and Data Backup
  11. System Administration Tasks
  12. Security in Linux
  13. Advanced Linux Shell Scripting
  14. Advanced Linux Networking
  15. Linux Server Administration
  16. Linux Virtualization and Containers
  17. Linux Cloud Services and Hosting
  18. Linux in DevOps: Empowering Modern Development Practices
  19. Mastering Linux Troubleshooting: Solving Common Challenges
  20. Mastering Linux: Advanced Tips and Tricks for Ultimate Productivity

Welcome to the fifth installment of our Linux Fundamentals series. In this article, we will explore the intricate world of Linux processes and services. Understanding these concepts is essential for managing and maintaining a Linux system efficiently.


Linux is celebrated for its robust multitasking capabilities, which enable multiple processes to run concurrently. Processes are at the core of the Linux operating system, allowing it to manage tasks, execute applications, and provide various services. Additionally, services and daemons are background processes that operate independently, serving critical system functions.

Understanding Processes

What is a Process?

A process is an instance of a running program. Each process is assigned a unique Process ID (PID) that helps identify and manage it. Processes can exist in various states, including running, sleeping, or terminated.

To list running processes, you can use the `ps` command:

ps aux

This command provides detailed information about all processes running on the system, including their PID, resource usage, and other relevant details.

Process Hierarchy

Linux processes are organized into a hierarchical structure, known as the process tree. The initial process, called the “init” process or “systemd” in modern systems, serves as the ancestor of all other processes. Child processes are created by parent processes, forming a tree-like structure.

Process Management

Interacting with Processes

You can interact with processes using various commands and utilities. Here are some essential ones:

– `ps`: Display information about processes.
– `top`: Real-time system monitoring tool.
– `kill`: Terminate processes.
– `nice` and `renice`: Adjust process priority.
– `pgrep` and `pkill`: Find and signal processes by name.
– `htop`: Interactive process viewer.

For example, to terminate a process with PID 1234, use:

kill 1234

Process Priorities

Linux assigns priorities to processes to manage CPU utilization effectively. The `nice` and `renice` commands allow you to adjust the priority of a process. Lower values indicate higher priority.

nice -n 10 myprocess   #Start a process with lower priority
renice -n -5 1234     #Change the priority of an existing process

Services and Daemons

Services vs. Daemons

Services and daemons are background processes that provide specific functions or services to the system or network. The primary distinction lies in their initiation and termination. Services are typically initiated by users or administrators, while daemons run continuously in the background and are often started at system boot.

Common daemons include `sshd` for secure shell access and `httpd` for web server functionality.

Managing Services with Systemd

Systemd Overview

Systemd is a comprehensive system and service manager for Linux, replacing the traditional init system. It is responsible for starting and managing system services, including daemons.

To check the status of a service using systemd, use:

systemctl status servicename

For example, to check the status of the Apache web server, use:

systemctl status apache2

Controlling Services

Systemd provides various commands to control services:

– `systemctl start servicename`: Start a service.
– `systemctl stop servicename`: Stop a service.
– `systemctl restart servicename`: Restart a service.
– `systemctl enable servicename`: Enable a service to start at boot.
– `systemctl disable servicename`: Disable a service from starting at boot.
– `systemctl reload servicename`: Reload a service’s configuration.

For instance, to start the SSH service, use:

systemctl start ssh


In this article, we explored the intricate world of Linux processes and services. Understanding how processes work, managing them effectively, and controlling services and daemons are essential skills for Linux administrators and users.

Linux offers a rich set of tools and utilities for process management and service control, empowering you to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. In the next article of our Linux Fundamentals series, we’ll delve into system maintenance and troubleshooting techniques. Stay tuned for more valuable insights into the world of Linux!