How to specify more spaces for the delimiter using cut?

Actually awk is exactly the tool you should be looking into:

ps axu | grep '[j]boss' | awk '{print $5}'

or you can ditch the grep altogether since awk knows about regular expressions:

ps axu | awk '/[j]boss/ {print $5}'

But if, for some bizarre reason, you really can’t use awk, there are other simpler things you can do, like collapse all whitespace to a single space first:

ps axu | grep '[j]boss' | sed 's/\s\s*/ /g' | cut -d' ' -f5

That grep trick, by the way, is a neat way to only get the jboss processes and not the grep jboss one (ditto for the awk variant as well).

The grep process will have a literal grep [j]boss in its process command so will not be caught by the grep itself, which is looking for the character class [j] followed by boss.

This is a nifty way to avoid the | grep xyz | grep -v grep paradigm that some people use.

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