Thursday 4 June 2009

htop - an alternative to top?

At times it is useful to see which process is burning up all those CPU cycles. Normally I use the top command, which does the trick. I've recently stumbled upon the htop command, which is a little like top, but has some neat interactive features which makes it a little more powerful than top in my opinion.

To install it, simply do:

sudo apt-get install htop

htop allows one to see CPU usage per processor, and allows one to scroll up and down the process list. If you've not used it yet, I recommend installing it and giving it a try.


  1. It looks like the Activity Manager application on Mac OS X, but less user friendly.

  2. Hi Chris, you are absolutely right that htop does not look user friendly - it's just a text mode application. I find it a useful tool to ssh into my servers to do trouble shooting misbehaving processes.

    An alternative tool is the gnome-system-monitor which provides a slicker user interface and includes graphs of CPU, memory and network usage and other user friendly options.

  3. Thanks for your reply Colin. It's been a while since I used Linux, but it's good to know it keeping up with the non-open source world.

  4. Have you compared the information shown by top and htop, they don't look the same... Is there any reason for that?
    If I run both in my machine, they don't show the same thing at all...