I am looking for system monitoring tools which are GUI and CLI or web-based which include basic functions such as:

  • CPU Usage
  • Ram Usage
  • Swap Usage
  • Disk Usage ( Space / I/O )
  • Heat Monitoring

I know there are many tools I can use, but I am looking for a single tool that has these basic functions.


18 Answers 18


Glances - An eye on your system

Glances is a free software (licensed under LGPL) to monitor your GNU/Linux or BSD operating system from a text interface. Glances uses the library libstatgrab to retrieve information from your system and it is developed in Python.


Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run following commands:

From Ubuntu 16.04 and above you can just type sudo apt install glances, but version 2.3 have this bug. Else:

Easy Script Installation Glances

curl -L https://raw.githubusercontent.com/nicolargo/glancesautoinstall/master/install.sh | sudo /bin/bash


wget -O- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/nicolargo/glancesautoinstall/master/install.sh | sudo /bin/bash

Manual Installation

sudo apt-get install python-pip build-essential python-dev lm-sensors
sudo pip install psutil logutils bottle batinfo https://bitbucket.org/gleb_zhulik/py3sensors/get/tip.tar.gz zeroconf netifaces pymdstat influxdb elasticsearch potsdb statsd pystache docker-py pysnmp pika py-cpuinfo bernhard
sudo pip install glances

Basic usage

To start glances simply type glances in terminal.


In glances you’ll see a lot of information about the resources of your system: CPU, Load, Memory, Swap Network, Disk I/O and Processes all in one page, by default the color code means:

GREEN : the statistic is “OK”
BLUE : the statistic is “CAREFUL” (to watch)
VIOLET : the statistic is “WARNING” (alert)
RED : the statistic is “CRITICAL” (critical)

When Glances is running, you can press some special keys to give commands to it:

c: Sort processes by CPU%  
m: Sort processes by MEM%  
p: Sort processes by name  
i: Sort processes by IO Rate  
d: Show/hide disk I/O stats  
f: Show/hide file system stats  
n: Show/hide network stats  
s: Show/hide sensors stats  
b: Bit/s or Byte/s for network IO  
w: Delete warning logs  
x: Delete warning and critical logs  
1: Global CPU or Per Core stats  
h: Show/hide this help message  
q: Quit (Esc and Ctrl-C also work)  
l: Show/hide log messages

Cpu , Ram , Swap Monitoring


Disk Monitoring


System Heat Monitoring

If you type glances --help you will find ( -e Enable the sensors module (Linux-only) )

glances -e



Configuration file

You can set your thresholds in Glances configuration file, on GNU/Linux, the default configuration file is located in /etc/glances/glances.conf.

Client/server mode

Another interesting feature of this monitoring tool is that you can start it in server mode just typing glances -s, this will give an output like Glances server is running on and now you can connect to it from another computer using glances -c @server where @server is the IP address or hostname of the server.

Glances uses a XML/RPC server and can be used by another client software. In server mode, you can set the bind address (-B ADDRESS) and listening TCP port (-p PORT), the default binding address is (Glances will listen on all the networks interfaces) and TCP port is 61209. In client mode, you can set the TCP port of the server (-p port). In client/server mode, limits are set by the server side. The version 1.6 introduces a optional password to access to the server (-P password) that if set on the server must be used also on the client.

Additional Sources: PyPI, Github, Linuxaria


Monitoring juju container just for example how things look like Large Image

In terminal no 1 Glances is running in server mode, In terminal no 2 juju container is running apt-get update & In terminal 3 glances -c Glances is connected to container ip


Glances CPU Usage

Glances itself seems to require period spikes of cpu usage while being active, as evidenced by the built in system monitor usage graph. If the graph is accurate - then by using glances one gives up about 1/4 of a CPU on a system. This my have en effect for those who are monitoring CPU loads on servers.

glances cpu usage

  • :) , Yes it is @B4NZ41
    – Qasim
    Jan 12, 2014 at 18:23
  • 4
    best tool I've seen....
    – DVG
    Nov 15, 2016 at 18:08
  • 3
    I strongly recommend against the 'easy' installation method suggested here! Piping data from the Internet to a privileged BASH interpreter is a very insecure. If someone misconfigured the DNS, or hacked bit.ly, you could be installing anything to your system and you might never know. Jun 27, 2017 at 11:27
  • 2
    I don't recommend the "Easy Script Installation", install only using packages. Oct 11, 2017 at 15:03
  • 3
    To uninstall just sudo pip uninstall glances. Oct 11, 2017 at 17:57


Indicator-SysMonitor does a little, but does it well. Once installed and run, it displays CPU and RAM usage on your top panel. Simple.

enter image description here

Download from here


One of my personal favourites

enter image description here

Screenlet you’ll find a bunch of differently styled CPU and RAM monitors included in the screenlets-all package available in the Ubuntu Software Center.

enter image description here


To install:

sudo apt-get install python-pip build-essential python-dev
sudo pip install Glances
sudo pip install PySensors

enter image description here


Displays information about CPU, memory, processes, etc.


This command line tool will display statistics about your CPU, I/O information for your hard disk partitions, Network File System (NFS), etc. To install iostat, run this command:

sudo apt-get install sysstat

To start the report, run this command:


To check only CPU statistics, use this command:

iostat -c

For more parameters, use this command:

iostat --help


The mpstat command line utility will display average CPU usage per processor. To run it, use simply this command:


For CPU usage per processor, use this command:

mpstat -P ALL


Saidar also allows to monitor system device activities via the command line.

enter image description here

You can install is with this command:

sudo apt-get install saidar

To start monitoring, run this command:

saidar -c -d 1

Stats will be refreshed every second.


GKrellM is a customizable widget with various themes that displays on your desktop system device information (CPU, temperature, memory, network, etc.).

enter image description here

To install GKrellM, run this command:

sudo apt-get install gkrellm


Monitorix is another application with a web-based user interface for monitoring system devices.

enter image description here

Install it with these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:upubuntu-com/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install monitorix

Start Monitorix via this URL:



  • Glances are good. What it shows me is sometimes some critical logs. WHere to find whats the problem? Where are thouse logs? WARNING|CRITICAL logs (lasts 9 entries) 2016-03-23 19:09:48 > 2016-03-23 19:09:54 CPU user (72.7/76.6/80.6) 2016-03-23 19:09:28 > 2016-03-23 19:09:32 CPU IOwait (62.5/62.5/62.5) 2016-03-23 19:08:45 > 2016-03-23 19:08:48 CPU user (86.3/86.3/86.3) ~ 2016-03-23 19:08:16 > ___________________ LOAD 5-min (1.0/1.1/1.2) - Top process: php5-cgi 2016-03-23 19:08:09 > 2016-03-23 19:08:19 CPU IOwait (74.3/74.6/75.0)
    – Kangarooo
    Mar 23, 2016 at 17:09
  • @Thuener It's better for you just to read and search before such nonsense comment and yes it's ppa::upubuntu-com/ppa... refer to this link launchpad.net/~upubuntu-com/+archive/ubuntu/ppa and i think better for you to remove the downvote :)
    – Maythux
    Apr 29, 2016 at 10:58
  • I have been using GKrellM and really like it, especially the temperatures sensor display. I wish they were graphical, however it lets me know how my laptop is doing as it has a over heating problem. Apr 29, 2016 at 19:15

Following are the tools for monitoring a linux system

  1. System commands like top, free -m, vmstat, iostat, iotop, sar, netstat etc. Nothing comes near these linux utility when you are debugging a problem. These command give you a clear picture that is going inside your server
  2. SeaLion: Agent executes all the commands mentioned in #1 (also user defined) and outputs of these commands can be accessed in a beautiful web interface. This tool comes handy when you are debugging across hundreds of servers as installation is clear simple. And its FREE
  3. Nagios: It is the mother of all monitoring/alerting tools. It is very much customization but very much difficult to setup for beginners. There are sets of tools called nagios plugins that covers pretty much all important Linux metrics
  4. Munin
  5. Server density: A cloudbased paid service that collects important Linux metrics and gives users ability to write own plugins.
  6. New Relic: Another well know hosted monitoring service.
  7. Zabbix

For the last few years I have used:

System Load Indicator

enter image description here

available from Software Centre

  • nice one : System Load Indicator
    – Qasim
    Feb 22, 2014 at 21:52


top is monitoring Software, listing all the processes with CPU/RAM usage, Overall CPU/RAM usage and more Also it's mostly installed by default


htop is like an extended version of top. It has all the features from above, but you can see child processes and customize the display of everything. It also has colors.


iotop is specifically for Monitoring Hard rive I/O It lists all processes and shows their Hard drive usage for read and write.

  • where is heat monitoring ? and in your answer you have already included 3 utilities ... check the question **i am looking for a single tool that has some basic function **
    – Qasim
    May 10, 2013 at 10:54
  • With the three tools I am just giving different options for the OP, but I am dissapointed to say that none of those have heat monitoring
    – BeryJu
    May 10, 2013 at 10:59
  • at least you have tried to answer the question ... thank you
    – Qasim
    May 10, 2013 at 11:23
  • google ( Saidar ubuntu )
    – Qasim
    May 10, 2013 at 13:11

You might want to try sysmon. Although not as fancy as Glances, it is very straightforward and easy to use.

If you want to get dirty and do a little scripting in python, here are some basics of system monitoring with Python to get you started.

You'll need an external module called psutil to monitor most things. It's easiest to use an external module installer instead of building from source.

Note: These examples are written in Python 2.7

sudo apt-get install pip
sudo pip install psutil

Now that we have the modules installed, we can start coding.

First, create a file called usage.py.

gedit ~/usage.py

Start by importing psutil

import psutil

Then, create a function to monitor the percentage your CPU cores are running at.

def cpu_perc(): 

    cpu_perc = psutil.cpu_percent(interval=1, percpu=True) 
    for i in range(len(cpu_perc)):
        print "CPU Core", str(i+1),":", str(cpu_perc[i]), "%"

Let's break that down a bit, shall we?

The first line, cpu_num = psutil.cpu_percent(interval=1, percpu=True), finds the percentage that the cores in your CPU are running at and assigns it to a list called cpu_perc.

This loop right here

for i in range(len(cpu_num)):
    print "CPU Core", str(i+1),":", str(cpu_perc[i]), "%"

is a for loop that prints out the current percentage of each of your CPU cores.

Let's add the RAM usage.

Create a function called ram_perc.

def ram_perc():
    mem = psutil.virtual_memory()
    mem_perc = mem.percent
    print "RAM: ", mem_perc, "%"

psutil.virtual_memory gives a data set containing different facts about the RAM in your computer.

Next, you can add some facts about your network.

def net():
    net = psutil.net_io_counters()
    mbytes_sent = float(net.bytes_sent) / 1048576
    mbytes_recv = float(net.bytes_recv) / 1048576
    print "MB sent: ", mbytes_sent
    print "MB received: ", mbytes_recv

Since psutil.net_io_counters() only gives us information about packets sent and received in bytes, some converting was necessary.

To get some information about swap space, add this function.

def swap_perc():
    swap = psutil.swap_memory()
    swap_perc = swap.percent

This one is pretty straightforward.

Temperature is kind of hard to do, so you may need to do some research of your own to figure out what will work with your hardware. You will have to display the contents of a certain file.

Disk usage is a lot easier than temperature. All you need to do is to pass the disk you want to monitor (i.e: /) through a certain function.

def disks():
    if len(sys.argv) > 1:
        for disk in range(1, len(sys.argv)):
            tmp = psutil.disk_usage(sys.argv[disk])
            print sys.argv[disk], "\n"
            print "Megabytes total: ",
            print str(float(tmp.total) / 1048576)
            print "Megabytes used: ",
            print str(float(tmp.used) / 1048576)
            print "Megabytes free: ",
            print str(float(tmp.free) / 1048576)
            print "Percentage used: ",
            print tmp.percent, "\n"

The original output of psutil.disk_usage is this,

sdiskusage(total=21378641920, used=4809781248, free=15482871808, percent=22.5)

but you can also just receive total, used, free, or percent.

The completed program: (the aforementioned functions were combined)

import psutil, os, sys
mem_perc = 0 #init var
swap_perc = 0 #init var
mbytes_sent = 0 #init var
mbytes_recv = 0 #init var
cpu_perc = 0 #init var
swap = 0 #init var
mem = 0 #init var
net = 0 #init var

def disp(degree):
    global cpu_perc
    global swap
    global swap_perc
    global mem
    global mem_perc
    global net
    global mbytes_sent
    global mbytes_recv

    cpu_perc = psutil.cpu_percent(interval=1, percpu=True)
    swap = psutil.swap_memory()
    swap_perc = swap.percent
    mem = psutil.virtual_memory()
    mem_perc = mem.percent
    net = psutil.net_io_counters()
    mbytes_sent = float(net.bytes_sent) / 1048576
    mbytes_recv = float(net.bytes_recv) / 1048576

    os.system('clear') #clear the screen

    print "-"*30
    print "CPU"
    print "-"*30
    print "CPU Temperature: " , degree, "'C"
    for i in range(len(cpu_perc)):
        print "CPU Core", str(i+1),":", str(cpu_perc[i]), "%"

    print "-"*30
    print "MEMORY"
    print "-"*30
    print "RAM: ", mem_perc, "%"
    print "Swap: ", swap_perc, "%"
    print "-"*30
    print "NETWORK"
    print "-"*30
    print "MB sent: ", mbytes_sent
    print "MB received: ", mbytes_recv
    print "-"*30
    print "DISKS"
    print "-"*30

    if len(sys.argv) > 1:
        for disk in range(1, len(sys.argv)):
            tmp = psutil.disk_usage(sys.argv[disk])
            print sys.argv[disk], "\n"
            print "Megabytes total: ",
            print str(float(tmp.total) / 1048576)
            print "Megabytes used: ",
            print str(float(tmp.used) / 1048576)
            print "Megabytes free: ",
            print str(float(tmp.free) / 1048576)
            print "Percentage used: ",
            print tmp.percent, "\n"

def main():
    print("Press Ctrl+C to exit")
    while True:
        temp = open("/sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp").read().strip().lstrip('temperature :').rstrip(' C')
        temp = float(temp) / 1000


The line temp = open("/sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp").read().strip().lstrip('temperature :').rstrip(' C') might not work with your hardware configuration.

Run this program from the command line. Pass the disks you want to monitor as arguments from the command line.

$ python usage.py /

Press Ctrl+C to exit

CPU Temperature:  39.0 'C
CPU Core 1 : 4.8 %
CPU Core 2 : 1.0 %
CPU Core 3 : 0.0 %
CPU Core 4 : 4.9 %
RAM:  33.6 %
Swap:  6.4 %
MB sent:  2.93382358551
MB received:  17.2131490707

Megabytes total:  13952.484375
Megabytes used:  8542.6640625
Megabytes free:  4678.5703125
Percentage used:  61.2 


Megabytes total:  326810.996094
Megabytes used:  57536.953125
Megabytes free:  269274.042969
Percentage used:  17.6 

Hope this helps! Comment if you have any questions.


  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes.
    – Ron
    Jun 14, 2015 at 9:38
  • @Ron - Okay, I'll add an edit to my post and show the basic scripting parts of sysmon in a couple of days. Thanks for the advice!
    – Calvin K
    Jun 15, 2015 at 21:01
  • Check out meta.askubuntu.com/questions/13900/…. What did you try, exactly?
    – muru
    Jun 19, 2015 at 11:45
  • @muru - Nevermind, now it is working. Thanks for the link!
    – Calvin K
    Jun 20, 2015 at 12:18
  • @muru - But, to answer your question, I started the code block with three backticks followed by the language I wanted the syntax to be highlighted in, and ended with three backticks.
    – Calvin K
    Jun 20, 2015 at 12:27

I was stunned to see when there is no simple,ellegant as well advance GUI System monitor like Windows TaskManager. KSysGaurd in KDE is great but requires plugins to install new functionality without it, is similar to gnome-system-monitor. KSysGaurd has advance options but not very simple. Personally, I didn't like either the KSysGaurd and Gnome-system-monitor.

I went and tried created a simple elegant GUI like Windows Task Manager. Check out my approach for the same: https://github.com/KrispyCamel4u/SysMonTask

Some highlights are: CPU performance Tab GPU performance Tab

Update: Now I have added the user Processes in version 1.1.0

I have filtered out the background Processes(with some exception) and shown only user-specific Processes (user parent and child process like in windows) which makes it easy to spot processes that you are interested in instead of finding out from the pool of all process that gnome-system-monitor shows.

Also, it includes the aggregates(on the column header) of all the processes.


There are only a few processes that are kinds of background but still appear: The exceptions :(

Suggestions are most welcomed in improving.


  • 2
    Your answer should not be so close to the bottom because its the best
    – Irsu85
    Sep 24, 2021 at 8:03

Package systat has a tool called sar that does all you want. It can also gather historical data so you can see what happened some time ago.


There is a built-in tool called gnome-system-monitor. It can do all of what you mentioned, except the heat monitoring.


SeaLion can be handy tool as it has built-in commands to monitor your server performance as well as you can add your own custom commands, scirpts and log output. It's very easy to setup and find out what went wrong at specific time.


  1. The free command is the most simple and easy to use command to check memory usage on linux/ubuntu.

    free -m
  2. To check memory usage is to read the /proc/meminfo file.

    cat /proc/meminfo
  3. The vmstat command with the s option.

    vmstat -s
  4. The top command is generally used to check memory and cpu usage per process.

  5. The htop command also shows memory usage along with various other details.

  6. To find out hardware information about the installed RAM.

    sudo dmidecode -t 17
  • 1
    I love htop! Simple and good enough.
    – Ravindra S
    May 1, 2017 at 14:37

I like to use conky which can be configured anyway you like:

enter image description here

You can google conky and find 787,000 hits. There is something for everyone.

At the top of the display notice "Lock screen: 4 Minutes Brightness: 2074". These are generated by "Indicator-Sysmonitor" which allows you to display on the systray / application indicator using a bash script.

For a tutorial on setting up "Indicator-Sysmonitor" see: Can BASH display in systray as application indicator?


I recommend http://conky.sourceforge.net/

Very easy to configure and minimal usage of resources.

  • 1
    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. May 27, 2013 at 12:50

Nagios seems to be the most popular and most customizable but I would not choose it for GUI.

Zabbix's open source solution monitors everything you have mentioned as well as provides time-based graphs for performance monitoring.

If you are looking for an even cleaner GUI, check out Zenoss. Zenoss is an open-source, web-based tool, but offers service analytics and root cause analysis with its propriety tool.


check the eginnovations Linux monitoring tool - http://www.eginnovations.com/web/linux-server-monitoring.htm

web-based, simple to install and even support Linux virtualization.


I think you should take a look at Agentless Monitor from AppPerfect, that covers various aspects of monitoring like JAVA / J2EE application monitoring, server monitoring, database monitoring, transaction monitoring, network monitoring, log monitoring, and system monitoring. It is free and easy to use.


In my case, this answer from this link helped me a lot.

Used to be a Windows user? You may want an Ubuntu equivalent of the Windows Task Manager and open it via Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination.

Ubuntu has the built-in utility to monitor or kill system running processes which acts like the “Task Manager”, it’s called System Monitor.

Ctrl+Alt+Del shortcut key by default is used to bring up the log-out dialog on Ubuntu Unity Desktop. It is not useful for users who are used to quick access to the Task Manager.

To change the settings of the key, open Keyboard utility from the Unity Dash (or System Settings -> Keyboard).

On Shortcuts tab -> Custom Shortcuts, click the plus icon to add a shortcut. Type in name Task Manager and command gnome-system-monitor.


After it is added, click on where it says “Disable” and press Ctrl+Alt+Delete. You’ll get a dialog said “The shortcut key … is already used for Log Out”, click Reassign and you’re done!


I recently publishes tiptop, a system monitor for the command line.

enter image description here

The exact coloring depends on your terminal's theme. (This one is Tokyo Night.)

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