Prototype: findprocesses(regex)

Return type: data

The return value is cached.

Description: Return the list of processes that match the given regular expression regex.

This function searches for the given regular expression in the process table. Use .*sherlock.* to find all the processes that match sherlock. Use .*\bsherlock\b.* to exclude partial matches like sherlock123 (\b matches a word boundary).


  • regex: regular expression, in the range: .*

The returned data container is a list of key-value maps. Each one is guaranteed to have the key pid with the process ID. The key line will also be available with the raw process table contents.

The process table is usually obtained with something like ps -eo user,pid,ppid,pgid,%cpu,%mem,vsize,ni,rss,stat,nlwp,stime,time,args, and the CMD or COMMAND field (args) is used to match against. However the exact data used may change per platform and per CFEngine release.


  "holmes" data => findprocesses(".*sherlock.*");


[ { "pid": "2378", "line": "...the ps output here" }, ... ]

History: Introduced in CFEngine 3.9

See also: processes processexists().