Man Page copied from NetBSD Manual Pages
W(1)                        NetBSD Reference Manual                       W(1)

     w - who present users are and what they are doing

     w [-hin] [-M core] [-N system] [user]

     The w utility prints a summary of the current activity on the system, in-
     cluding what each user is doing.  The first line displays the current
     time of day, how long the system has been running, the number of users
     logged into the system, and the load averages.  The load average numbers
     give the number of jobs in the run queue averaged over 1, 5 and 15 min-

     The fields output are the user's login name, the name of the terminal the
     user is on, the host from which the user is logged in, the time the user
     logged on, the time since the user last typed anything, and the name and
     arguments of the current process.

     The options are as follows:

     -h      Suppress the heading.

     -i      Output is sorted by idle time.

     -M      Extract values associated with the name list from the specified
             core instead of the default ``/dev/kmem''.

     -N      Extract the name list from the specified system instead of the
             default ``/netbsd''.

     -n      Show network addresses as numbers (normally w interprets address-
             es and attempts to display them symbolically).

     If a user name is specified, the output is restricted to that user.

     /var/run/utmp  list of users on the system

     finger(1), ps(1), uptime(1), who(1)

     The -f, -l, -s, and -w flags are no longer supported.

     The w command appeared in 3.0BSD.

     The notion of the ``current process'' is muddy.  The current algorithm is
     ``the highest numbered process on the terminal that is not ignoring in-
     terrupts, or, if there is none, the highest numbered process on the ter-
     minal''.  This fails, for example, in critical sections of programs like
     the shell and editor, or when faulty programs running in the background
     fork and fail to ignore interrupts.  (In cases where no process can be
     found, w prints ``-''.)

     The CPU time is only an estimate, in particular, if someone leaves a
     background process running after logging out, the person currently on
     that terminal is ``charged'' with the time.

     Background processes are not shown, even though they account for much of
     the load on the system.

     Sometimes processes, typically those in the background, are printed with
     null or garbaged arguments.  In these cases, the name of the command is
     printed in parentheses.

     The w utility does not know about the new conventions for detection of
     background jobs.  It will sometimes find a background job instead of the
     right one.

NetBSD 1.6                       June 6, 1993                                2

©1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias <>
©1996-2001 Modified for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen <>