Linux tip - show the programs using CPU/RAM

Here's a nice, easy, quick tip for anyone on Linux (in fact - many other systems based on Unix share this too!).

If you want to see what programs are using your CPU power and RAM at any one time, you can use an awesome program called top.

top is a program you run from the terminal (don't be scared!), so launch a terminal or console program (usually under accessories, system or utilities in your applications list) and type in top and press Enter.

Screenshot of top

This will show you a list of as many of the currently running programs on your system that will fit, ordered by how much CPU they're using. The display will update every few seconds, so you can watch your computer sweat as it performs some CPU-eating calculations.

Hit q at any time to quit top.

Your graphical environment might also have similar graphical tools - look for the KDE System Guard, the Gnome System Monitor or similar on Linux to have a graphical app do this for you.

Now you can check on your computer's status from anywhere.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold -

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Linux tip - show the programs using CPU/RAM

  1. Chris (guest)

    # Posted on 14 December 2006 at 07:56 PM

    Ubuntu Linux... easy Ctrl+Alt+Del. W00t.

  2. # Posted on 22 January 2008 at 04:12 PM

    [...] your hand if you are annoyed that you can’t scroll in top, the command-line process manager. Yeah, I thought you [...]

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