I don’t know why, but in GNU/Linux, I find command-line based tools to be very efficient when viewing system statistics or system monitoring in general. True, when it comes to killing or dealing with processes, a GUI tool is always handy (take ‘watsup‘ for instance), but other times, command-line utilities just rock!.
Ubuntu holds a big number of tools in its repositories such as the awesome ‘Glances’ and ‘dstat‘ etc. If you are looking for another utility that is very similar to the ‘Glances’, then you should try ‘Saidar‘.
Once installed, all you have to do is to put ‘saidar’ into the Terminal window and it will give you a nice overview of your system. Including details such as the host name, update, date, load for the past 1/5/15 minutes, CPU usage (idle, system and user load), minimalist overview of running process (active, sleeping, stopped, zombie, total number of processes), number of logged in users etc.
It also lists other details such as the Memory usage (including ‘paging’ data), disk read/write, current network speeds (up/down) and the disk usage. For some reason, other than the USB drive, it failed fetch details of my primary disk though.
Just like in ‘Glances’, when a certain system resource is being used heavily (say you have a high CPU usage), then it automatically highlights it too.
But please remember that this is only a system statistics viewer and you cannot use it to do things like killing running processes.
If interested, you can install it in Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal, 12.04 Precise Pangolin … all the way up to 8.04 by entering the below command in your Terminal window.
sudo apt-get install saidar
How to use it?
Once opened your Terminal window, enter the below command to run it.
However, the default mode only uses Black & White. If you want vivid colors, then you can use the ‘-c’ argument’ as shown below.
Originally, the update interval is set to 2 seconds. Since most would prefer to have an update interval of 1 second, you can use the ‘-d’ attribute for achieving that.
saidar -d 1
You can replace ‘1’ with your preferred value (you cannot go below 1 second though).
If you would like to have a colorized output with 1 second update interval, then you can use the below command that combines the above two.
saidar -c -d 1
As mentioned, it is very light on your system resources too and only used about 420KB while running too. That’s it, good luck.