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Mastering Process Monitoring and Management with htop Command in Linux

📆 · ⏳ 3 min read · · 👀


In Linux, processes are the running instances of programs that are currently executing on the system. These processes can be critical system services, user applications, or background tasks that perform specific functions.

As a Linux system administrator or power user, it’s essential to monitor and manage these processes efficiently to ensure optimal performance and stability of the system.

The htop command is a powerful process monitoring and management tool for Linux that provides a comprehensive view of all the processes running on your system. It offers a user-friendly interface with detailed information about each process, including its resource usage, priority, and status.

In this article, we’ll explore the htop command in detail and learn how to use it for process monitoring and management.

Using htop Command

To start using the htop command, you first need to install it on your Linux system. In most Linux distributions, you can install htop using your package manager. For example, in Ubuntu and Debian, you can install htop using the following command:

Terminal window
sudo apt-get install htop

Once installed, you can launch htop by simply typing htop in your terminal. By default, htop displays a list of all the running processes on your system, sorted by their resource usage. You can use the arrow keys to navigate through the list and see more detailed information about each process.

Here are some of the key features of htop:

  • Process sorting: htop allows you to sort processes based on their resource usage, priority, and other factors.

    For example, you can sort processes by CPU usage by pressing the F6 key and selecting the CPU column.

  • Process filtering: You can filter processes based on their name or other attributes using htop.

    For example, you can filter processes that contain the word ‘apache’ by pressing the F4 key and entering ‘apache’ in the search box.

  • Process management: htop allows you to manage processes in real-time by sending signals to them.

    For example, you can send the SIGTERM signal to a process to terminate it by selecting the process and pressing the F9 key.

  • Color-coded display: htop uses color codes to highlight processes based on their resource usage, making it easy to identify processes that are using too much CPU or memory.


In summary, the htop command is a powerful tool for process monitoring and management in Linux. With its intuitive interface and advanced features, htop can help you keep track of all the processes running on your system, sort and filter them, and even take action to manage them in real-time.

Whether you’re a system administrator or a power user, htop is an essential tool for maintaining the stability and performance of your Linux system.

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