Linux top command tutorial

Linux top command is a great tool to monitor Linux performances and troubleshoot Linux problem. It is available in default Ubuntu and Slackware installation. We can view a dynamic real-time view of a running system using top command. What you have to do is just type 'top' in the Linux command line terminal and press enter to see top command prints a table of Linux processes and system summary.

Here is an example of top command screenshot:

Linux top command screenshot image

A default top command prints:

  • Summary Area.
  • Message/Prompt Line.
  • Columns Header.
  • Task Area.

There are 2 basic commands that you can use when top program is running:

  • h - to view helps available.
  • q - to quit top program.

You can also use '?' to view help and press 'ctrl+c' keys combination to stop running top program.

Here is an example of Linux top command help page:


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