Htop Monitoring Tool

Monitoring Linux with htop


Htop is an alternative monitoring tool to the more familiar top command. With htop, you are greeted with a colourful screen displaying CPU Utilisation, Memory Utilisation and Swap file utilisation in a graphical format. Across the top, the current number of running tasks, Load average and up times are displayed.

Underneath this graphical display is a more familiar view which resembles top in many ways. However, you can move your cursor up or down over the running process and quickly change the priority (Nice + / Nice -) with the 'F7' or 'F8' keys or Kill a process with the 'F9' key. Pressing the 'F6' key gives you the option to amend the fields that are displayed.

To use 'htop', you will need to download the appropriate set of binaries from for your system. (Many linux distributions already have htop in the repositories). Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE have these packages available.

Installing htop

htop can be downloaded from the following locations if it is not already present within your Linux systems repositories. Download htop

To install htop on a Debian/Ubuntu/Mint system, issue the command: sudo apt install htop

To install htop on a openSUSE system, issue the command: zypper install htop

To install htop on a RHEL 8 or CentOS 8 system, you will need to download the files from the above link. You will also need to install the EPEL repositories to your system first.

Once htop has installed successfully, you can start the monitor by typing htop on your terminal. A screen similar to the one shown below should now be displayed. The upper area may look different on your system if you have a multi core CPU system.

Linux htop monitoring tool

Key Overview

To configure htop, use the following keys as per the help section:

Linux htop configure