System Administration

Essential System Tools: btop++ – resource monitor

The top utility needs little introduction to seasoned Linux users. top is a small utility that offers a dynamic real-time view of a running system. It allows users to monitor the processes that are running on a system.

top remains a useful utility. It helps with system administration by identifying users and processes that are hogging the system. It is also useful for non-system administrators, helping to track and kill errant processes. However, top is showing its age and there are a bunch of utilities that offer a more feature-laden and visually attractive alternative.

btop++ is an alternative to top. It’s a resource monitor that shows usage and stats for processor, memory, disks, network and processes. It’s a continuation of bashtop and BpyTOP. It’s free and open source software written in C++.


Compiling the source code is very straightforward. Clone the project’s GitHub repository, change into the newly created directory, and run the make command.

$ git clone
$ cd btop
$ make -j6

We used the -j flag to increase the speed of compilation.

There are packages available for many distributions, and a snap is available for distros without a package. This is cross-platform support running under Linux, macOS, and FreeBSD. A port to Windows is planned.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

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

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