Keep an Eye on Your GNU/Linux System with Glances

Keep an Eye on Your GNU/Linux System with Glances


Looking for a no-nonsense command-line tool for monitoring your GNU/Linux system? Glances might be right up your alley. This neat little Python-based utility provides an overview of all key system aspects, including CPU load, disk storage, memory consumption, and network activity. More importantly, the utility does a good job of presenting monitored data in an easy-to-follow manner.

In addition to a clean layout, Glances uses color codes to identify key parameters and their current status. For example, the Mount section displays the total and used disk space. If the disk space is less than 50% full then it's marked with the green OK color code. As the amount of free disk space decreases, the color codes change accordingly. So when a file system is 90% full, its color code changes to CRITICAL. This seemingly simple trick makes it significantly easier to keep an eye on your system's resources.

Glances in actionGlances in action

Glances has only two dependencies: Python 2.6 and the python-statgrab library version 0.5 or higher. If your particular distro doesn't have the latest version of python-statgrab, you can easily compile it from source . To install Glances, grab the latest release of the software from the project's website, and do the standard compilation routine:

./configure
make
make install

The latter command should be executed as root. Once Glances has been installed, you can launch it by running the glances.py command in the terminal. By default, Glances refreshes stats every second, but you can specify a different refresh interval using the -t switch:

glances.py -t 5

The utility also features a handful of commands. The c command, for example, sorts the processes list by CPU consumption, while the f command toggles the file system stats. You can view a list of all commands by pressing the hkey.

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Biography

Dmitri Popov has been writing exclusively about Linux and open source software for many years, and his articles have appeared in Danish, British, US, German, and Russian magazines and websites. Dmitri is an amateur photographer, and he writes about open source photography tools on his Scribbles and Snaps blog at scribblesandsnaps.wordpress.com