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Using the W command in Linux Terminal

In this article we will talk about commands w (Command w).

w is a command line utility that displays information about currently registered users and what each user is doing. It also provides information about system operation time, current time and Average load the system.

How to use the w command

The syntax of the w command is as follows:


When w is called without any options or arguments, the result looks like this:

 21:41:07 up 12 days, 10:08,  2 users,  load average: 0.28, 0.20, 0.10
USER      TTY      FROM        [email protected]   IDLE   JCPU   PCPU WHAT
root      pts/0   20:59    1.00s  0.02s  0.00s w
linuxid   pts/1   21:41    7.00s  0.00s  0.00s bash

The first line provides the same information as the command uptime . It contains the following columns:

  • 21:41:07Current system time.
  • up 12 days, 10:08 – The length of the system operation period.
  • 2 users – The number of registered users.
  • load average: 0.28, 0.20, 0.10 System load averages during the last 1, 5 and 15 minutes. Average system load is a measure of the number of jobs currently running or awaiting disk I / O. It basically tells you how busy your system is during the specified period of time.

The second line includes the following fields:

  • USER – Enter the username.
  • TTY – The name of the device used by the user.
  • FROM – The hostname or the IP address that the user is logging in from.
  • [email protected] – The time the user logs in.
  • IDLE – The elapsed time since the user’s last interaction with the device.
  • JCPU – The time spent on all operations in tty.
  • PCPU – The time used by current user processes. Show in the field WHAT.
  • WHAT – Current user operations and options / arguments.
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The w command then lists all currently registered users and the information associated with them.

If you pass one or more usernames as arguments to the w command, the output is limited to the specified user:

w linuxid
 22:08:55 up 12 days, 10:35,  2 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.06, 0.12
USER      TTY      FROM        [email protected]   IDLE   JCPU   PCPU WHAT
linuxid   pts/1  21:41    27:55   0.00s  0.00s bash

Command Options w

The w command accepts several options, although this one is rarely used.

Selection -hAnd the --no-header Tells w not to show headers:

w -h

Only logged in users information is printed:

root      pts/0   20:59    1.00s  0.02s  0.00s w -h
linuxid   pts/1   21:41    7.00s  0.00s  0.00s bash

Selection -fAnd the --from Fields activation FROM. Whether this archive is displayed or hidden by default depends on the distribution you are using

w -f
 22:48:39 up 12 days, 11:15,  2 users,  load average: 0.03, 0.02, 0.00
USER      TTY        [email protected]   IDLE   JCPU   PCPU WHAT
root      pts/0     20:59    5.00s  0.03s  0.01s bash
linuxid   pts/1     21:41    1.00s  0.02s  0.00s w -f

Selection -oAnd the --old-style, Tells w to use old style output. When you use this option, the command prints a blank space when it is timed IDLEAnd the JCPUAnd and PCPU less than a minute.

w -o
 22:50:33 up 12 days, 11:17,  2 users,  load average: 0.14, 0.04, 0.01
USER      TTY      FROM        [email protected]   IDLE   JCPU   PCPU WHAT
root      pts/0   20:59    1:59m               bash
linuxid   pts/1   21:41                        w -o

Selection -sAnd the --short Say w to use the short output. When using this option, the [email protected]And the JCPUAnd andPCPU Invisible.

w -s
 22:51:48 up 12 days, 11:18,  2 users,  load average: 0.04, 0.03, 0.00
USER      TTY      FROM         IDLE WHAT
root      pts/0    3:14  bash
linuxid   pts/1    2.00s w -s

Selection -iAnd the --ip-addr Give orders w To always show the IP address instead of the hostname in a file FROM.

w -i


Command w Prints information about system activity and incoming users. For more information, please write man w At your stop.

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Originally posted 2020-11-18 07:12:13.

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