Reading What do the brackets around processes mean? I understand that the executable name is printed.
Linux ps man page:
Sometimes the process args will be unavailable; when this happens, ps will instead print the executable name in brackets.
ps -Awwo pid,comm,args I get:
PID COMMAND COMMAND 1 init init 
What does this mean? Does the "executable name" supposed to be
I suppose the executable is of course
init - what is
? Why is it printed?
(Also, I don't really get why it can't show the full path if it knows the executable name.)
comm column and the first word of the
args column in the
ps output show the name of the executable program if everybody involved follows the default convention. However it is possible to have discrepancies for various reasons.
When a program starts, the command name as shown in the
args column is chosen by the parent program that executes the program and passed as an argument (
argv). By convention, the parent chooses the base name of the executable (i.e. the path to the executable without the directory part), but this is not enforced. Once the program is running, it can overwrite that string.
Init (at least the traditional Linux SysVinit) overwrites its
argv to indicate the current runlevel.
On Linux, the
comm column is initially filled in by the kernel to the first 16 characters of the base name of the executable. The process can change the content with the
prctl system call.
If the executable is renamed or deleted, neither the
comm column nor the
args column will reflect this.
ps doesn't display the path to the executable, that's not in its job description.
lsof can tell you with
lsof -a -p 1 -d txt.
On Linux, you can see this information in files in
commfield) in in
/proc/1/stat(second field in parentheses) and
/proc/1/cmdline(the arguments are separated by null bytes).