A Python module to customize the process title
setproctitle module allows a process to change its title (as displayed
by system tools such as
Changing the title is mostly useful in multi-process systems, for example when a master process is forked: changing the children's title allows to identify the task each process is busy with. The technique is used by PostgreSQL and the OpenSSH Server for example.
The procedure is hardly portable across different systems. PostgreSQL provides a good multi-platform implementation: this module is a Python wrapper around PostgreSQL code.
setproctitle is a C extension: in order to build it you will need a C
compiler and the Python development support (the
python-dev package in
most Linux distributions). No further external dependencies are required.
You can use
pip to install the module:
pip install setproctitle
Python 3 support
As of version 1.1 the module works with Python 3. Just use
virtualenv for Python 3.
In order to build from the source package and test the module under Python 3,
Makefile contains some helper targets.
setproctitle module exports the following functions:
- Set title as the title for the current process.
- Return the current process title.
A few environment variables can be used to customize the module behavior:
On many platforms, setting the process title will clobber the
os.environwill work as expected from within the Python process, but the content of the file
/proc/PID/environwill be overwritten. If you require this file not to be broken you can set the
SPT_NOENVenvironment variable to any non-empty value: in this case the maximum length for the title will be limited to the length of the command line.
Print debug information on
If the module doesn't work as expected you can set this variable to a non-empty value to generate information useful for debugging. Note that the most useful information is printed when the module is imported, not when the functions are called.
The module can be currently compiled and effectively used on the following platforms:
- MacOS X
Note that on Windows there is no way to change the process string:
what the module does is to create a Named Object whose value can be read
using a tool such as Process Explorer (contribution of a more useful tool
to be used together with
setproctitle would be well accepted).
The module can probably work on HP-UX, but I haven't found any to test with. It is unlikely that it can work on Solaris instead.