psutil – advanced OS process management utilities for Python

psutil is a Python library and API for UNIX system administration utilities. It provides Pythonic API e.g. for top, lsof, netstat and kill like tasks.

The benefits of using this library include

  • Because psutil API resembles UNIX process management command line utilities the developers find themselves home
  • Pythonic, easy to use, API
  • Cross-platform
  • Good documentation

psutil is maintained by Giampaolo Rodola and Jay Loden.

Below is a short example what you can do with psutil. It checks if the current operating system is running Apache (web server) process and this process is listening to particular TCP/IP ports. The use case could be e.g. per-requirements check that the software can be deployed against a particular system.

import psutil

def is_apache_running_in_ports(process_name="apache", ports=(80, 443)):
    Check if a local Apache instance is running and listening to certain ports.

    :param ports: List of ports Apache should be listening to (all ports must be included)

    ports_to_go = list(ports)

    # Iterate over all system processes (ps)
    for proc in psutil.process_iter():
        if != process_name:
            # Not target process

        # Iterate over all ports this process is listening to 
        for con in proc.get_connections():
            # Tuple ip, port
            port = con.local_address[1]
            if port in ports_to_go:

    # Did we find all ports we wanted to
    return len(ports_to_go) == 0
Note: When installing psutil be sure that you follow the Python best practices: sudo-free virtualenv installation.

More examples at psutil homepage.


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