How to Install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04

Sysdig is open source, system-level exploration: capture system state and activity from a running Linux-based system such as Ubuntu 20.04, then save, filter, and analyze that is particularly useful for system analysis, inspection, and debugging, amongst other uses. Sysdig is scriptable in Lua and includes a command-line interface and a powerful interactive UI using the command csysdig that runs in your terminal.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04 and 21.04.



  • Recommended OS: Ubuntu 20.04 – optional (Ubuntu 21.04 and Linux Mint 20)
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.
  • Required packages: curl, gnupg and software-properties-common

Updating Operating System

First, before anything, update your Ubuntu operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Installing Prerequisities

As part of the requirements, you will need to use the following terminal command to install the required packages:

sudo apt install curl gnupg software-properties-common -y

Note, this is safe to skip if you are certain that you have these and are up to date.

Installing Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04

To install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04 is not a hard process. The first thing you need to do is use the curl command to download and then execute the bash file. This is done by using the following terminal command:

sudo curl -s | sudo bash

The overall process should not take longer than a few minutes at most.

Once installed, confirm the version and build of Sysdig by using the following:

sysdig --version

You should get the following output:

sysdig version 0.27.1

Using Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04

Now that you have installed Sysdig, you can now use the monitoring software which will be done with the csysdig command. A word of note, you need to run sysdig as root because it requires access to critical areas such as /proc file system, /dev/sysdig* devices, and needs to auto-load the sysdig-probe kernel module.

First, bring up the display using the following command:

sudo csysdig

You will see the following screen below:

How to Install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04

Note, if you have trouble opening Sysdig, check the troubleshooting at the bottom of the tutorial.

Next, you can press the F2 button to change the view back for future reference. Example below:

How to Install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04

In the menu view above, you can use your arrow keys to move around to select an option you would like to monitor. For example, you want to see the Processes CPU, then scroll down and hit the ENTER key which will then display the following:

How to Install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04

To return to the previous menu selection use the F2 button key. From here you can select quite an extensive list. Alternatively, you can use the terminal line commands. Some examples of these commands are shown below:

Run the following command to see the top processes ranked by CPU utilization percentage:

sudo sysdig -c topprocs_cpu
How to Install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04

Run the following command to see the system’s network connections:

sudo sysdig -c netstat
How to Install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04

To see a list of system processes:

sudo sysdig -c ps
How to Install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04


If you encounter the following problem when trying to use the csysdig for the first time with (Error opening terminal: xterm-256color). This can be solved most times by installing the following package:

sudo apt install ncurses-term

Note, only install (ncurses-term) if you see the error message.

Comments and Conclusion

You have learned how to install Sysdig on Ubuntu 20.04 or 21.04 with learning basic navigating and terminal commands in the tutorials in the tutorial. Overall, Sysdig combines the functionality of a number of existing command-line tools and combined them into one single application with an excellent GUI or using traditional terminal commands to monitor nearly any part of your Linux system.

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