System Administration

Excellent System Utilities: Glances – CLI curses-based monitoring tool

Last Updated on May 28, 2022

Essential System Utilities is a series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table in the summary section.

Glances is a cross-platform system monitoring tool written in Python.

We’ve already featured gtop in this series. Why feature an alternative? Because Linux is about freedom and having a genuine range of alternatives? Or it’s because Glances is an excellent tool for system administrators that offers a vast array of information all in one central place.


We’ve been running with Manjaro, an Arch-based distro. Installing glances on this distro is easy as there’s an official package for the program. It’s installed with the command:

$ sudo pacman -S glances

The system is running with an Nvidia graphics card. We also installed the python-py3nvml package.

$ sudo pacman -S python-py3nvml

py3nvml is a set of Python 3 compatible bindings to the NVIDIA Management Library. It can be used to query the state of the GPUs on your system.

Glances is a cross-platform tool. Besides Linux, there are packages for FreeBSD, macOS, Windows, and Android (you’ll need a rooted device for Android).

You don’t need a configuration file to use Glances, but it offers more settings.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Essential System Tools
AlacrittyInnovative, hardware-accelerated terminal emulator
BleachBitSystem cleaning software. Quick and easy way to service your computer
bottomGraphical process/system monitor for the terminal
btop++Monitor usage and stats for CPU, memory, disks, network and processes
catfishVersatile file searching software
ClonezillaPartition and disk cloning software
CPU-XSystem profiler with both a GUI and text-based
CzkawkaFind duplicate files, big files, empty files, similar images, and much more
ddrescueData recovery tool, retrieving data from failing drives as safely as possible
dustMore intuitive version of du written in Rust
f3Detect and fix counterfeit flash storage
Fail2banBan hosts that cause multiple authentication errors
fdupesFind or delete duplicate files
FirejailRestrict the running environment of untrusted applications
GlancesCross-platform system monitoring tool written in Python
GPartedResize, copy, and move partitions without data
GreenWithEnvyNVIDIA graphics card utility
gtopSystem monitoring dashboard
gWakeOnLANTurn machines on through Wake On LAN
hyperfineCommand-line benchmarking tool
inxiCommand-line system information tool that's a time-saver for everyone
journalctlQuery and display messages from the journal
kmonManage Linux kernel modules with this text-based tool
KrusaderAdvanced, twin-panel (commander-style) file manager
NeofetchSystem information tool written in Bash
NmapNetwork security tool that builds a "map" of the network
nmonSystems administrator, tuner, and benchmark tool
nnnPortable terminal file manager that's amazingly frugal
petSimple command-line snippet manager
PingnooGraphical representation for traceroute and ping output
ps_memAccurate reporting of software's memory consumption
SMCMulti-featured system monitor written in Python
TimeshiftReliable system restore tool
QDirStatQt-based directory statistics
QJournalctlGraphical User Interface for systemd’s journalctl
TLPMust-have tool for anyone running Linux on a notebook
UnisonConsole and graphical file synchronization software
VeraCryptStrong disk encryption software
VentoyCreate bootable USB drive for ISO, WIM, IMG, VHD(x), EFI files
WTFPersonal information dashboard for your terminal
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