5 htop Alternatives to Enhance Your Linux System Monitoring Experience
htop is a popular command-line tool to help monitor the system’s resources and performance on Linux.
It’s better than top, often available by default out of the box.
With htop, you can filter and sort processes to understand things better, get a tree view of the processes running, and kill processes when needed.
I use htop over other system monitoring tools because it displays what’s essential to me and allows terminating rogue/frozen processes when I need to take control of running services.
But, if you want something else that displays more info or looks different, what are some htop alternatives? Let’s take a look.
Recommended Read: 7 System Monitoring Tools for Linux to Keep an Eye on Vital System Stats
atop is all about running process details. You get all the data you need to understand the processing on your system.
It also provides the ability to make a permanent log of resource utilization for long-term analysis. A system administrator might find this more useful than anyone else.
Unfortunately, it does not provide you with a pretty output. So, if you want that, keep looking at the other options below.
How to install atop?
For Ubuntu/Debian-based distributions, type in:
sudo apt install atop
vtop is the perfect system monitoring utility if you want a good-looking output and essential features to manage processes.
The output looks like a GUI in a terminal, as I’ve stated in some of my other articles. You can have mouse support or choose to disable it. The theme can also be customized.
It is built using Node.js. So, you need to install additional packages to get it installed.
Unfortunately, this project seems to be no longer actively maintained. But, it worked for me at the time of writing this article.
How to install vtop?
For Ubuntu-based distros, enter the following commands in the terminal:
sudo apt install nodejs sudo apt install npm sudo npm install -g vtop
btop++ is a C++ version of bashtop and bpytop. And, yes, it is the third iteration of those projects by the same developer.
btop++ includes full mouse support, features a game-inspired menu system, lets you filter processes, get a tree view, and more.
How to install btop++?
Using the official repositories, you can easily install it on Fedora, OpenSUSE, and FreeBSD.
For Fedora, you can type in:
sudo dnf install btop
You can explore its GitHub page for options to install on other Linux distributions.
Glances is similar to htop, but with more features.
It is a cross-platform system monitoring utility that can export data as CSV or other formats for InfluxDB, Elasticsearch, and more.
You can also utilize its web user interface to check the stats remotely or without access to the terminal.
How to Install Glances?
For Ubuntu-based distros, you can type in:
sudo apt install glances
nmon is an impressive monitoring utility that lets you control what you want to display as the output.
You can extract the monitoring data (export it as CSV) and use it for further analysis. It is easy to toggle statistics and switch between different views.
By default, it refreshes the data every two seconds, but you can customize it and access more options to tweak your experience.
How to install nmon?
You can find it in the official repositories. For Ubuntu-based distros, type in the following in the terminal:
sudo apt install nmon
The top command utility comes baked in with your Linux system. If you want a no-nonsense monitoring utility and want to keep an eye on system processes and some stats, top is sufficient.
Not sure if I can count it as an enhanced experience over htop and that’s the reason why top is not included in the main list.
As you can see here, some monitoring utilities may be fun and prove to be more insightful than htop.
What is your favorite htop replacement? Do you think htop is more than enough for your use-case? Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.