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Applying Cisco Troubleshooting Tools

Chapter Description

This sample chapter from CCNP Support Exam Certification Guide introduces some powerful troubleshooting tools that are built into the Cisco IOS. As with other tools, it is important that you identify when to use them and what information they reveal. Because some of these tools have an impact on the way routers operate and may impede the routers' utmost performance, it is essential to use them with care. To better understand the output of these commands, and to recognize what router internal operations they affect, this chapter discusses router internal components and operations. As each tool/command is introduced, its usefulness is described and tips are given on how to use it effectively.

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show processes Command

The show processes exec command displays your router's CPU utilization and a list of active processes along with their corresponding process ID, priority, scheduler test (status), CPU time used, number of times invoked, and so on. This command is also very useful when you are evaluating your router's performance and CPU utilization.

A sample output of the show processes command is shown in Example 4-10. As you can see, the first line of the output shows the CPU utilization for the last five seconds, one minute, and five minutes. The output provides 4%/4% in front of the CPU utilization for the last five seconds: the first number is the total utilization and the second number is the utilization due to interrupt routines.

Example 4-10 A Sample Output of the show processes Exec Command

A_BackR#show processes


CPU utilization for five seconds: 4%/4%; one minute: 6%; fiveminutes: 5%


PID Q Ty PC Runtime(ms) Invoked uSecs Stacks TTY Process


1 C sp 31B6178 28 353 79 736/1000 0 Load Meter


2 M * 0 324 154 2103 2588/4000 0 Exec


3 L st 31A7112 5584 167 33437 1768/2000 0 Check heaps


4 C we 31ACF5A 0 1 0 1732/2000 0 Pool Manager


5 M st 3147E02 4 2 2000 1700/2000 0 Timers


6 M we 30E6690 0 2 0 1700/2000 0 SerialBackgroun


7 L we 31D4BD0 4 52 76 1612/2000 0 ARP Input


8 M we 32D6848 4 2 2000 1624/2000 0 DDR Timers


9 M we 30EA414 0 1 0 1736/2000 0 SERIAL A'detect


10 M we 31F9270 604 398 1517 3024/4000 0 IP Input


11 M we 3264668 84 206 407 1556/2000 0 CDP Protocol




When you decide to use the show processes command, try to execute it a few times, with a one-minute lapse in between, to get a more reliable idea about which processes are invoked most often and how much CPU time they consumed. You may also execute the show processes cpu command to get the five-second, one-minute, and five-minute display of CPU utilization for each process. Table 4-8 shows some of the column headings used in the output of the show processes command with a brief description for each of them.

Table 4-8 Some of the Column Headings of the show processes Command Output

Column Heading



Process ID


Priority (C: Critical, H: High, M: Medium, L: Low)


Scheduler Test (status)

*: currently running

E: waiting

We: waiting for an event

Sa: sleeping until an absolute time

Si: sleeping for a time interval

St: sleeping until a timer expires

Hg: hung

Xx: dead


Program Counter


CPU time the process has used (in milliseconds)


Number of times the process has been invoked


Number of microseconds of CPU time used at each invoke

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