Main machine is os x 10.9.5

Is there a canonical list of all os x processes by name? For instance TransportClient is always at the top of my Activity Monitor - Network list. Would like to find out about basic functionality etc. Also I'm the default tech for a teens' macbook and want to be able to identify rogue processes by name whenever possible. I've already had to remove adware and, despite security lectures, there will be more issues.

Thanks for any info.

  • A (comprehensive) list of macOS system processes (Sierra) can be found here: Die Systemprozesse von macOS Sierra (German only). A source for additional processes is a feature of LittleSnitch and can be accessed from within the app (Research Assistant) which uses a non-public database of the app developer. – klanomath Dec 5 '17 at 12:50
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    Another source is triviaware.com: web archive triviaware.com. Don't visit the current triviaware.com site! It's a spam site and finally will redirect you to MacKeeper and suchlike. – klanomath Dec 5 '17 at 12:59

There is no canonical list of all macOS processes by name.

Third party developers are free to name their processes without restriction and Apple's background processes are often undocumented.

Manual Pages

For many core macOS processes there are manual pages. You can read these technical manual pages using the included Terminal application and the command line tool man.

  • "Apple's background processes are often undocumented." Thanks. That answers my question. I tried "man TransportClient" but no entry so I gave up. – openquestions Dec 5 '17 at 12:21

I don't really know what output do you expect, can you please elaborate?

In the mean time, you can try htop.

You can install it via MacPorts:

sudo port install htop

or if you use Homebrew:

brew install htop

You can run it from terminal by typing htop, F5 lists the processes in the tree.

Other way is using the program pstree, you can obtain it in the same way.

Then you have ps aux and other options.

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