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Ryan Harrison My blog, portfolio and technology related ramblings

Htop Colours Explained

Htop is a great expansion to the top command in Unix based systems. Rather than just spitting out metrics to the console, htop provides a complete ncurses-based interface which makes it extremely useful when managing processes.

The header of htop contains a number of bars that show CPU usage, memory usage and swap usage. The bars are all colour coded to show different aspects of the usage. This is great when you know the what the colours mean, but htop doesn’t make it too obvious what they mean. The F1 (Help) menu offers a guide to the colours of the usage bars:

htop colour guide