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Linux Tutorial Series

Linux Tutorial Series – 100 – The top command

Here is the video version, if you prefer it:

To view processes dynamically, use top. (Shotts, 2019) It displays which processes are using up your resources the most – the ones using the most resources is always at the top of the list.

An example:

mislav@mislavovo-racunalo:~$ top

top - 20:34:02 up 96 days, 2:55, 1 user, load average: 1.11, 0.79, 0.62

Tasks: 237 total, 1 running, 235 sleeping, 0 stopped, 1 zombie

%Cpu(s): 5.2 us, 0.7 sy, 0.0 ni, 93.3 id, 0.0 wa, 0.0 hi, 0.7 si, 0.0 st

MiB Mem : 7853.8 total, 985.1 free, 4153.0 used, 2715.7 buff/cache

MiB Swap: 8066.0 total, 6826.2 free, 1239.8 used. 3013.4 avail Mem

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND

1145 mislav 20 0 874948 216852 29184 S 33.3 2.7 89:30.61 gedit

6729 mislav 20 0 4991000 460424 110440 S 13.3 5.7 1631:07 gnome-she+

15544 mislav 20 0 11276 3644 3060 R 6.7 0.0 0:00.01 top

...

⁠I won’t go into the details of the column names or the meaning of each element of the summary statistics here. I will leave that for review, when we cover all of the relevant concepts. For now, just remember that top is a command that displays the processes with the most resource-intensive processes closer to the top of the process list.

Hope you learned something useful!

References

Shotts, W. (2019). The Linux Command Line, Fifth Internet Edition. Retrieved from http://linuxcommand.org/tlcl.php. Pages 137-139

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