System Administration

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

In operation

Glances is a cross-platform monitoring tool which aims to present a large amount of monitoring information through a curses or Web based interface. The information dynamically adapts depending on the size of the user interface.

Click for full size image

Some of the information that Glances presents isn’t displayed in the image above. For example, warning or critical alerts are not displayed. This is a consequence of Glances dynamically changing the displayed information based on the size of our Hyper terminal window.

We really like its support for monitoring remote machines via its XML-RPC server. There’s also a RESTful JDSON API.

Information displayed by Glances includes:

  • CPU usage. If enough horizontal space is available, extended CPU information is displayed. In the same way as the classic top utility, pressing the 1 key shows CPU usage for each individual core.
  • GPU usage (in the image above, Glances shows our test machine hosts GeForce graphics card, detailing processor usage, memory usage, and temperature.
  • Memory usage. Glances uses two columns: one for the RAM and one for the SWAP.
  • Load on the system.
  • File system – displays the used and total file system disk space. The unit is adapted dynamically.
  • Filesystem I/O – displays the disk I/O throughput. The unit is also adapted dynamically.
  • Network I/O. Glances displays the network interface bit rate. The unit is again adapted dynamically (bit/s, kbit/s, Mbit/s, etc). The module also shows extended information about network connections.
  • Wi-Fi – displays the Wi-Fi hotspot names and signal quality.
  • Ports – provides a list of hosts/port and URL to scan.
  • List of tasks.

Glances lets you toggle modules on and off. With a few keyboard shortcuts you can show/hide filesystem stats, sensors stats, disk I/O stats, alert logs, and network stats. Pressing h from the Glances interface displays a complete list of the available keyboard shortcuts.

Glances - keyboard shortcuts

Next page: Page 3 – Summary

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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