Thanks to Ubuntu tutorials I’ve realized that my lovely tool top has now better replacement htop.

Quick comparison:

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.

Fortunately it is available as binary package for RHEL 5 from rpmforge so the install was quick and painless:

yum install htop

Here is how it looks:

htop running

Default colors were not very appropriate for white background so I switched easily (F2-Setup->Colors) to mc colors.


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