Linux Monitoring Tools

How to Monitor Linux Systems


The secret to a smooth running system is your ability to monitor and keep track of the current state of your system. Thankfully Linux has numerous tools built in and freely available to help you. Below are some of the most popular tools that every system administrator should have in their toolbox. Using many of the tools below, you will have the ability to monitor CPU Utilisation, cores, Load averages and run queues. You will have the ability to identify processes and the resources that they are consuming. You will be able to monitor your network interfaces. Click on the links below to go to the relevant information page/tutorial:

Top Monitoring Tool

Top Monitoring Tool

top is one of the most common and frequently used command by System Administrators to get a quick system health check. An overview of CPU utilisation, Load, Memory, swap and processes are displayed by default. An overview of the top utility is covered in the process monitoring section. Click on the image for more information.

Nmon Monitoring Tool

Nmon Monitoring Tool

nmon is a free monitoring tool available for most Linux distributions. nmon allows you to monitor and record important system information such as CPU, Memory, Swap, Top Processes and their associated resources, Network, NFS, Filesystems and Kernel stats. For a review of the nmon monitoring tool, click on the nmon image.

Htop Monitoring Tool

Htop Monitoring Tool

htop is another very popular system monitoring tool available for most Linux distributions. htop is often seen as a more enhanced version of the top utility. htop provides an easy to use colour interface for monitoring your systems resources. For a review of the htop monitoring tool, click on the htop image.

Iptraf - Next Generation

Install iptraf-ng

iptraf is text based IP LAN monitoring tool that generates various network statistics including TCP info, UDP counts, ICMP and OSPF information, Ethernet load info, node stats and IP checksum errors.

Dstat Monitoring Tool

Install Dstat Linux

dstat is a versatile tool for generating real time system statistics. Monitor disk performance in conjunction with networks traffic. Dstat is often used instead of vmstat and iostat because of its extra functionality and ease of use. Export data in csv formats for use with Libre Office / OpenOffice. For a full overview of dstat, click on the image.

Vmstat Monitoring Tool

Vmstat Monitoring Tool

vmstat (Virtual Memory Statistics) is a system monitoring tool that collects and summarises system statistics. Memory, processes, interrupts, paging and block I/O information can be displayed easily. Monitoring intervals can be specified so that near real time stats can be produced. For more information, click on the vmstat image.


Nmap Monitoring Tool

NMAP Monitoring Tool

nmap is a system network security scanning tool which can discover hosts and services running on a network. nmap has the ability to discover hosts, their operating systems and running services. Port ranges can be specified for scanning. nmap is often used to test a systems security by identifying what network connections can be made to it. For a full overview of nmap, click on the nmap image.

Iperf Network Tool

Iperf Network Tool

Iperf is a network performance tuning tool that can be used on multiple Operating Systems. For a full overview of iperf and how to install it on Linux systems, click on the iperf image.