Ubuntu – What system monitoring tools are available

command lineguimonitoringsoftware-recommendationsystem

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.

Best Answer

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

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