Richard Julian


richard [at]

Quick and Dirty Guide to htop

09 Jun 2014


htop **is a more feature rich, ncurses-based extension of **top, a way of displaying and managing processes. htop is interactive and you can easily kill multiple processes.


To start htop, simply type it in to the command line. While there are command line options available, the most useful is -u / - -user=USERNAME to show processes only by one user.

The real functionality comes with the commands:

  • [Space] tags processes to allow actions to be used on (namely, kill), **[U] **untags everything.
  • **[F2,S] **brings you to the setup menu, here you can configure many things, including the layout and info displayed.
  • [l] this is short for lsof, which (as long as you have it installed) will show all files open by a given process. **[s] **does the same with strace.
  • **[F6,>,<] **will bring up a list of fields to sort processes by.
  • **[F9, k] **will perform the kill command on one or more processes.

There also exist commands for sorting[u] sort by user, [M] sort by memory usage, [P] sort by processor usage, [T] sort by time.