Instead of using software with GUI to minitor system information under Ubuntu, you can simply do it via the terminal with the help of Glances which is developed in Python and allows to display in real-time your important system stats. The system stats displayed are sorted automatically.

Glances allows to monitor, for example, your CPU usage, load time, memory usage, swap usage, network rate, number of running processes, disk input/output, etc. In this guide, we will help you install Glances under Ubuntu.

Glances Installation (v1.3.2)

Open the terminal and run these commands to install the latest version (1.3.2) of Glaces currently available:

sudo apt-get install python-statgrab
wget -O glances-1.3.2.tar.gz http://goo.gl/REaaa
tar zxvf glances-1.3.2.tar.gz
cd glances-1.3.2
sudo make install

To start Glances, run this command:


By default, system stats are refreshed every second. To increase its time, you can use this command to run the utility by giving any number of seconds of your choice (default is 1):

glances.py -t 3

You can use these keyboard keys while Glances is running:

a  --> Sort the process list automatically
c --> Sort the process list by CPU usage
m --> Sort the process list by by process size
q --> exit

At the bottom of the terminal window, you have four different colors indicating status of the running system devices and processes (red means the condition is critical and needs close attention, while the green color means that the condition is OK).

That's it!

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