Cacomania: Some handy linux/unix (ncurses based) tools


Some handy linux/unix (ncurses based) tools

Guido Krömer - 27. October 2012 -

There are some (ncurses based) unix tools you should not miss on any linux/unix system. Especially if top is not not telling you what is going on with your system.


The first tool is a replacement for top, which should be installed on every linux system at first: htop. Htop lets you sort the processes, searching for a name or display them as a tree, for example.
classic top
The classic top view, on a strong machine with many running vm's. htop
With htop its more clear which vm consumes how many memory or cpu.

On Mac OS X htop works, too. It can be installed with brew: brew install htop. Htop runs on max osx, too. But dont forget sudo, here without root priviledges.
Running htop on a mac without root privileges let htop look no very informative.Htop runs on max osx, too. Here with root priviledges.
Starting htop with sudo makes htop looks like usual.


Iotop is a kind of top for displaying disk I/O, so it is great for determining which application generates high load on a server. iotop


Sometimes one application is causing a high network traffic. Displaying the network usage like top is done by iftop.

iftop, this screenshot is a liitle bit anonymized

All traffic produced by non local network machines have been anonymized, but I think it is clear how useful iftop can be.


The last tool is ncdu which stands for: NCurses Disk Usage. Instead of the classic du command you can navigate through the file system. Finding large files and folders become really simple. Finding the reason why my file system is ull, using ncdu.
Thank god ncdu runs on Mac OS X, too. So lets figure out why my ssd is so full. Determining the large file, step 2.
This must be in my home folder, since there is just my user account on the mac. First big files found, with ncdu.
Some orphaned disk images and isos are one reason, but what is about the Library folder? Determining the large files with ncdu, step 4.
Okey its just Steam :) .

After deleting the old vm images I'm playing a round Team Fortress 2 now. Have fun using some of the tools.