Strange top(1) output

Kevin Oberman oberman at
Thu May 12 15:38:12 PDT 2005

> Date: Thu, 12 May 2005 19:40:43 +0300
> From: Giorgos Keramidas <keramida at>
> Sender: owner-freebsd-stable at
> On 2005-05-12 09:33, Scot Hetzel <swhetzel at> wrote:
> >On 5/12/05, Tuomo Latto <djv at> wrote:
> >>Dominic Marks wrote:
> >>>>This includes at least the following changes (some not visible):
> >>>>
> >>>>  + The entire header line is limited to the window width too.
> >>>>  + The USERNAME column is hard-limited to 8 characters.
> >>...
> >>> If this behaviour could be turned on and off, I'd be very happy.
> >>
> >> How about making it a command line parameter? The field size, I mean.
> >
> > How about using the "-w" flag to increase the size?  Similar to the
> > way that ps uses it now (i.e. ps -axwww).
> Cool tip.  Thanks :)

Please, NO! 

top(1) is a screen oriented command that will run (badly) in line mode.
While I have often questioned the advisability of '-w' in ps(1), it does
make some sense as ps(1) tends to produce line oriented output.

top(1) could check the width of the display and tailor the display to
that width. May screen based tools already do this and it provides a lot
of flexibility. It's best to check the width for width on every update
so that the screen (if its a soft terminal) may be increased and the
display re-written to take advantage of that, on the fly.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at			Phone: +1 510 486-8634

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