Command line tools htop

Last modified on 2016-08-22


The top command displays Linux processes, and one of the first packages I install on a new Linux setup is the enhanced, interactive htop viewer. Good-looking and easy to use: see CPU and MEMORY usage at a glance, system load and uptime, kill wonky processes, and more!

Install: On Ubuntu/Debian …

sudo apt install htop lsof

Helpful Commands

To search for a specific process ID (PID) just input the number in the htop window and ENTER to select.

Menu function keys F1->F10 may conflict with desktop environment settings. Fortunately there are many keycode shortcuts, and these are the ones I find most useful …

help menu
toggles the tree view which displays all related processes
show all files opened by a process (uses lsof)
select a user and display only processes belonging to that ID
search for process by keyword
filter processes by keyword
Shift + f
follow a process
Shift + .
sort menu, Shift + i will invert the sort
Shift + p
shortcut to sort processes by CPU …
Shift + m
… by MEMORY …
Shift + t
… or TIME
toggle a tag (useful for selecting multiple processes to kill)
Shift + u
remove all tags
kill process menu

Happy hacking!