TechTips Vol IV Linux – htop


“This is htop, an interactive process viewer for Linux. It is a text-mode application (for console or X terminals) and requires ncurses. Tested with Linux 2.4 and 2.6.”

It is a useful GUI for analyzing Processor and Memory usage. It enhances the functionality of “top” and gives a more friendly view.

Comparison between htop and top

  • In ‘htop’ you can scroll the list vertically and horizontally to see all processes and complete command lines.
  • In ‘top’ you are subject to a delay for each unassigned key you press (especially annoying when multi-key escape sequences are triggered by accident).
  • ‘htop’ starts faster (‘top’ seems to collect data for a while before displaying anything).
  • In ‘htop’ you don’t need to type the process number to kill a process, in ‘top’ you do.
  • In ‘htop’ you don’t need to type the process number or the priority value to renice a process, in ‘top’ you do.
  • ‘htop’ supports mouse operation, ‘top’ doesn’t
  • ‘top’ is older, hence, more used and tested.

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Installing htop

  • CentOS
    • We first need to install Dag repository, download it from here get the one that fits your CentOS version
    • Now run: rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-[your_release].rpm
    • to have it installed, and then:
    • yum install htop
  • Fedora
    • For Fedora you should also install Dag Wieers Repository
    • and then run yum install htop
  • Debian and Ubuntu
    • For these two just run:
    • apt-get install htop

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