Install Htop on Debian 11 Bullseye

Htop is a free, open-source, cross-platform interactive process viewer. It is a text-mode application (for console or X terminals) and requires ncurses. The terminal UI is a great way to see what your system looks like inside, both in terms of processes and other info. It’s also completely customizable, so you can change colors or add different widgets for more visual representation!

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Htop Interactive Process Viewer on Debian 11 Bullseye desktop or server.

Prerequisites

  • Recommended OS: Debian 11 Bullseye
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.
  • Internet Connection

The tutorial will utilize the terminal for the installation found in Activities > Show Applications > Terminal.

Example:

Install Htop Interactive Process Viewer on Debian 11 Bullseye

Update Operating System

Update your Debian operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@debian~]$ sudo whoami
root

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on Adding a User to Sudoers on Debian.

Installing Htop

By default, Debian 11 Bullseye repository has Htop available.

To proceed with the installation, use the following command.

sudo apt install htop

Confirm the installation and version build by using the htop –version command.

htop --version

Example output:

htop 3.0.5

Using Htop – Terminal Commands

As the name suggests, use the following command to bring up Htop in your terminal.

htop

Example output:

Install Htop Interactive Process Viewer on Debian 11 Bullseye

This is a pretty standard overview of your system, which would suit most users just needing to check quickly on the system stats.

Further options can be added, such as some standard parameters below.

ParameterFunction

-d
–delay= 10
Specify the update rate in 1/10 seconds
-C
–no-color
–no-colour
Start without colors
-h
–help
Show quick help
-u
–user=username
Show only processes of the specified user
-s
–sort-key
Sort by a specific column. A list of the permitted column names can be htop -s help output with ” “.
-v
–version
Show Htop version

One of the most common parameters is delaying the update frequency of Htop, as many have the application constantly running to monitor system or network performances.

htop -d 10

As above, this has added on a ten-second delay, but you can specify anything you want in seconds.

Htop Keyboard Shorts

Below is a list of the most commonly used shortcuts.

KeysFunction
← , ↑ , → , ↓Scroll through the process list
⇧ + URemove all tags
. or ,Incremental search for the PID
F1 , ? , HShow help
UShow processes of a user
F2 , ⇧ + SOpen setup and change settings
⇧ + HShow/hide user  threads
F3, ⇧ + /Incremental process name search
⇧ + KShow/hide kernel threads
F4, \Filter by name
⇧ + F.Pin the cursor to a process
F5 , TActivate / deactivate tree view
+ , –Expand/collapse the tree
F6, >Select column to sort
⇧ + PSort processes by CPU usage
F7Decrease Nice value
⇧ + MSort processes by memory usage
F8Increase Nice value
⇧ + TSort processes by the time
F9, KEnd the process or processes of a day
LOpen files with lsof open
F10 , Q , Ctrl + C   break up
SSystem calls to stracetrace
Space barTag process
⇧ + LTrack library ltracecalls
II / O control

Removing (Uninstall) Htop

To remove Htop from your system is straightforward. Use the following command.

sudo apt remove htop

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install Htop on Debian 11 Bullseye. Overall, Htop is a great lightweight system monitoring tool in your Linux terminal compared to the standard top command.

Other similar software can show more details, such as Glances System Monitor, but for quick, easy local monitoring, Htop is one of the most popular Linux distros.



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