many processes


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 27, 2006
Hey i am currently running a Macbook. i recently installed some programs such as toast, mactheripper, and acqlite. now when i go to the activities monitor, there are many processes running that i do not know wut it is. i don't exactly remember what it was before. is there any way i can see wut process controls wut? root is running most of the processes. thanx for the help


macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2005
Miami, FL
Not sure how to answer your question, except to say that OS X has many thing running, so it may only be something to be concerned about only when/if your computer starts acting weird.

I'm a long-time Mac user, but I've heard former Windows users constantly looking for some sort of sneaky malware that's running in the background. Probably not an issue here.


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 27, 2006
my computer has been acting up on me. i found out that the problem was limewire, so i decided to uninstall it. now my computer runs fine, so i checked the processes and it freaked me out..


Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
It's normal for OS X to have a large number of processes. Windows does this too -- if you look at an actual process view (i.e. task manager) you will see many processes.

Here is what I'd suggest. Open a terminal and type in:

ps -aux

You will notice the rightmost column (which I don't think you can see in activity monitor) is the location of the binary. If you do:

ps -aux | grep -i applications

You will see processes whose binaries are in the applications folder -- most of the rest besides this is operating system stuff. You might also do

ps -aux | grep -i /users/yourusername

This will show any miscellany that is running out of your library folder but not out of your apps folder.

This should answer your question as to whether there are residual processes from applications....


macrumors 68040
Jul 25, 2006
paradise beach FL
I have found suspicious malware on my G3 running 10.2.8, the process said "unknown" and my iMac was freezing alot. I traced the problem to freeware, deleted the app and associated files; end of problem. As long as processes are either :admin / root / myself / app, nothing to worry about.