I'm used to OS X and I use MenuMeters in my menu bar to monitor CPU usage as a percentage and memory as used/free totals. I really want to add this functionality in Ubuntu as I'm using it for development. I've seen that you can add graphs. Graphs mean nothing to me :). I need percentages. How can I add this functionality in Ubuntu?

  • 1
    I wouldn't recommend this tool guys in Ubuntu 22.04. Caused total freezing. I had to reboot manually and uninstall it from terminal in safe mode. Actually, i tried it twice and happened both times.
    – Chris Touk
    May 26, 2023 at 17:34

7 Answers 7


There is no need to add any extra repository, just install indicator-multiload from the default repos:

sudo apt install indicator-multiload

Then start it manually the first time by searching for "system load indicator" in the dashboard.

Right click the indicator for preferences.


  • its worked for Ubuntu 20.4
    – matinict
    Mar 8, 2021 at 16:50
  • 2
    I strongly disrecommend this tool. It caused video playing stutter on my thinkpad T14s when on battery power, ubuntu 20.04
    – n0tis
    Nov 20, 2022 at 16:26
  • Happened to me too, resolved it by logging it from command line and manually removing this. Laptop - Thinkpad P14s Feb 22, 2023 at 16:55
  • 1
    Avoid this in Ubuntu 22.04. Use TopHat instead (L. Gashi's answer) Jan 10 at 6:23

The system load indicator can be configured to display numeric values. First make sure that indicator-multiload is installed:

sudo apt install indicator-multiload

Do the following steps:

  1. Search for System Load Indicator in dash and launch it.enter image description here
  2. Right click on the indicator applet and choose Preferences. enter image description here
  3. A window will pop up. Click on the Indicator Items... button on the lower middle portion of the window. enter image description here
  4. Move the item CPU $(percent(cpu,inuse)) to the top of the list. enter image description here
  5. Close all opened windows and notice the numerical CPU load displayed in the panel. enter image description here
  6. Note that the entry is customizable. You can get creative and start mixing up different entries. For example, if you want to display memory usage as well, replace the entry with CPU $(percent(cpu.inuse)) Mem $(size(mem.user)), which will result in: enter image description here
  • 6
    If it's possible to fix it somehow? Because when, for example, cpu changes from 9% to 11% (one more digit) entire line is moved. I want labels, like "CPU", "Mem" be static. May 14, 2018 at 11:36
  • Super great and colorfull Jun 1, 2022 at 17:13
  • Note: don't make the system monitor width 800px. It will brick the entire DE. For some reason.
    – Kilves
    Aug 5, 2022 at 10:50
  • 1
    I strongly disrecommend this tool. It caused video playing stutter on my thinkpad T14s when on battery power, ubuntu 20.04
    – n0tis
    Nov 20, 2022 at 16:26

The "indicator multiload" is the one you are searching for. The commands to install:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:indicator-multiload/stable-daily 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload

Read more about it at this link : webupd8

Update: Now indicator-multiload is available in the official PPA as suggested by other answers. However, if you want the latest version, install it from the PPA indicator-multiload/stable-daily.

  • I strongly disrecommend this tool. It caused video playing stutter on my thinkpad T14s when on battery power, ubuntu 20.04
    – n0tis
    Nov 20, 2022 at 16:26

For Ubuntu 22.4.1 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) I can recommend installing TopHat via gnome-shell-extension-manager (Here is a installation tutorial).

Installing indicator-multiload on Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) caused a problem for me. After starting it manually for the first time, going to the preferences and increasing the pixel size my system froze. I had to shut my system down by holding the power button. After booting the system up again, I could only log into my system but the favourites panel was gone and I was not able to start a terminal.

If that happens to you you can boot in recovery-mode, uninstall the application and reboot. That fixed the problem for me.


Use Gnome shell system monitor extension (works with Ubuntu 18.04LTS too). Install prerequisite:

sudo apt-get install gir1.2-gtop-2.0, gir1.2-networkmanager-1.0 gir1.2-clutter-1.0 gir1.2-clutter-gst-3.0 gir1.2-gtkclutter-1.0 chrome-gnome-shell

Then visit https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/120/system-monitor/, preferably in Firefox, and install by clicking the toggle button next to the extension's name.

For more info on installation see: https://github.com/paradoxxxzero/gnome-shell-system-monitor-applet

  • 2
    Appears to not work in 19.04 (installed dependencies but still shows ERROR on going to extensions.gnome.org) Jul 25, 2019 at 16:19
  • /!\ these packages could delete gnome-shell (tested on my debian 10)
    – dallonsi
    Apr 27, 2022 at 14:50

indicator-multiload may have a flickering problem like this, so tophat or system-monitor-next are the better choices (system-monitor-next is forked from gnome-shell-system-monitor, the original one not under maintenance for a while is not supporting Gnome 42).

Installing the Gnome extension on Ubuntu 22.04, the most convenient way is using extension-manager.

Install it sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-manager.
Next, run extension-manager in the command line or applications.


For Xubuntu, right click on the top panel (the Ubuntu name for a menu bar) and choose Panel | Add New Items | System Load Monitor. For Unity, see What can replace system monitoring in the top Gnome Panel in Unity? for five different approaches.

  • I tried the answers in the question you linked to. I didn't try the long python script, but there's nothing that displays a percentage in the menu bar. All I can get is the graph. Is it that hard to get a percentage? I would think that the graph is harder.
    – daviesgeek
    Jan 16, 2014 at 7:05

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