Previously we took a look at top, atop and indirectly (due to it’s popularity as top’s alternative) htop (the last screenshot on this page). But are there other alternatives worth looking at? As it pertains to system health and performance, this is largely a matter of preference regarding what data is most important to you. We all prefer different ways of viewing the same thing.
htop and top alternatives
Since the three aforementioned system monitoring tools can hold their own quite easily, I’ll focus on two alternatives which I believe can also hold their own as replacements or at least compliment top and htop. They are, Glances and nnom.
Glances – system monitor
Glances is open-source software to monitor and collect operating system statistics. Glances aims to present the max amount of information, in the minimum amount of space. Glances is a good htop alternative as it can adapt dynamically when displaying system information, depending on the terminal size. Remote monitoring can be done via terminal, Web interface or API (XMLRPC and RESTful). Glances is written in Python and uses the psutil library to get information from your system. Stats can also be exported to external time/value databases.
nmon – Nigel’s performance Monitor
nmon is another htop alternative systems administrators tool, for server tuning, benchmarking or viewing detailed system performance information. It outputs data in two ways. Either on screen (command line) or after saving data to a comma separated file for analysis and longer term data capture. Honestly, one screenshot isn’t enough for nmon. Have a look at additional screenshots with explanations.
Even more top and htop alternatives: net-tools, iptraf, collectl, dstat, iostat, sar, saidar and vmstat. Looking for more insight and/or APM tools? Have a look at my
50 100 Top Server Monitoring & Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Solutions post (includes free and paid solutions).