A Weird Imagination

Monitor all the things

CPU and memory

On Linux, the basic way to monitor load is to use top. The only thing top really has going for it is that it is almost certainly available on any system you will ever use. Luckily, there's a better way: htop. htop supports colors and mouse clicks and lists the available key commands at the bottom of the terminal. It also can be customized to your liking. You can start by putting my htoprc in your ~/.config/htop/ directory:

$ mkdir -p ~/.config/htop/
$ cd ~/.config/htop/
$ wget https://gist.githubusercontent.com/dperelman/1e051f5705685cb41f31/raw/3ab9cf17b166120a805d5f76a71ce82452f553b4/htoprc

Or just explore the options yourself.

Hit F1 (or click Help in the bottom-left) to get an explanation of the colors used in the CPU and memory bars and a guide to keystrokes not listed at the bottom.

In my usage, I find insufficient memory is more often the problem than CPU, so I usually leave htop sorted by the MEM% column.

Other resources

While CPU and memory are the easiest to monitor resources, they are not the only ones. Linux offers a wide variety of system monitors, depending on what resource you want to monitor and what format you want to view it in. This post focuses on real-time viewing with human-friendly displays but most of these have options or variants that support logging historical data in a more machine-friendly format as well.

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