If you’re a Linux guru, you’ve probably already heard of ‘top’, which is a simple process monitoring program which runs in command line. However, if you find top a bit boring and like the idea of a more colorful and interesting UI, ‘htop’ might be for you. Here’s a screenshot of htop in action:

Advantages of using htop include:

Colour meters show you at a glance if CPU load, memory usage etc. is within acceptable levels

Supports user interaction using the mouse as well as keyboard

Sort process list by CPU%, MEM%, time running etc., and in ascending or descending order

Fully customizable according to your needs

Help menu which lists all possible commands (useful for beginners)


Before we can actually install htop, we firstly need to install Repoforge (previously RPMForge), which will act as a repository from which we can get the files.

RHEL, CentOS & Fedora (32-bit):

RHEL 5, CentOS 5 & Fedora

wget http://packages.sw.be/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.i386.rpm

rpm -Uhv rpmforge-release*.rf.i386.rpm

RHEL 6 & CentOS 6

wget http://packages.sw.be/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.i686.rpm

rpm -ihv rpmforge-release*.rf.i686.rpm

RHEL, CentOS & Fedora (64-bit):

RHEL 5, CentOS 5 & Fedora

wget http://packages.sw.be/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.x86_64.rpm

rpm -Uhv rpmforge-release*.rf.x86_64.rpm

RHEL 6 & CentOS 6

wget http://packages.sw.be/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.x86_64.rpm

rpm -ihv rpmforge-release*.rf.x86_64.rpm


Once you have installed Repoforge/RPMForge, you can then install htop by simply issuing the following command:

yum install htop

You can then run htop by simply executing:



The installation process for Debian is even simpler, as it is already available in the repositories.

Open up an SSH session.

Log in with your root user log in credentials.

Type “apt-get install htop”.

To run htop, type “htop”.

If you wish to quit htop at any point, press F10.


Notes for WHM/cPanel users:

We don’t recommend enabling additional repositories on servers with WHM/cPanel, as this can cause problems.

Instead, you can use wget to get the RPM from http://pkgs.repoforge.org/htop/, then use the rpm -i command.


More information on htop can be found here.

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