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Question: I have  a few Java applications and tools which continuously run on our server. We are going to write some "killer application" script which will kill our application if it hangs.  How do we find pid of that application, which we are going to kill to?

Answer: You can use jps command which is a part HotSpot JVM instrumentation. Be aware that this tool is limited to reporting information on JVMs for which it has the access permissions.

If you run simply jps without any argument you will report all Java applications together with lvmid - local VM identifier, which are usually but not necessarily are the same as pids.

Below you see my example which I run on myServer  machine:

13703 AlexMain
9523 Jps
7596 Bootstrap

Here you can see three two applications run: AlexMain and Bootstrap. Third application is our command jps Smile. It listed itself.

If you want to get only lvmids  you can run the command with -q option which will suppress the name of application and just give you lvmids:

myServer$jps -q

Sometimes it is good to know what are arguments were passed to every application. Run jps -m:

myServer$jps -m
13703 AlexMain 25 /home/alex/reserv/client.xml start
9807 Jps -m
7596 Bootstrap start

Here you can see that AlexMain got three input parameters: "25", "/home/alex/reserv/client.xml" and "start".

Two more parameters you can try yourself, it will help you to learn Java more and train your habits to do more things by hand.

I will give you just description:

Output the arguments passed to the JVM.

Output the arguments passed to the JVM through the flags file (the .hotspotrc file or the file specified by the -XX:Flags=<filename> argument).

Additionally to default options, you can pass more options to the underlying VM executing applications written in Java with -J option.

For example, -J-Xms32m sets the start up memory to 32 megabytes.

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