Tools for checking system status


Article from Issue 82/2007

A system monitor lets you query the system’s current health state. If you are unhappy with the spartan Top tool, try one of these easy alternatives.

Linux supports many sophisticated server monitoring tools that analyze a server’s health state, log the results, and print colorful graphs and reports. But if you are just interested in finding out why the hard disk LED on your desktop is flashing wildly, what you really need is a simple, at-a-glance overview of the system status. A quick look at the system status will show you which applications are hogging memory or which processes are hogging the CPU.

The KDE and Gnome desktop environments each have on-board tools for this task: Ctrl+Esc on KDE launches the KDE system monitor, KSysguard. Gnome has the Gnome System Monitor for the same task. The KDE application, in particular, requires a significant amount of system resources. Because users typically need a monitor to find out why a machine is overloaded, this seriously affects the tool’s usability.

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