I have a question pertaining the 'top' command and dissecting it. What I mean by that is say for instance I wanted to display only particular parameters while top is running live, I want to only display the following parameters:

The current time, CPU utilization, current memory utilization, current disk space utilization, and currently logged in users, what would I do to do so?


Different systems have different top implementations, but in general it isn't very configurable. It's meant to show information about memory and CPU usage; disk space and logged-in users are not its job. Conversely, not showing lists of processes isn't its job either.

If you want a configurable system monitor, try conky. It's GUI-based. Or nagios's web-based dashboards.

If you want to display information of your choice in a terminal, you can use the watch command to run a program every few seconds. Pass it a shell script that displays the information you want. For example:

watch ./my-favorite-statistics

with my-favorite-statistics containing something like


For the CPU and memory part, you may want something nicer than vmstat. Linux's free might help for memory, or you can massage the output of vmstat.

  • This is excellent Gilles, you have put me towards the correct direction. I will definitely try some of the mentioned ideas. Thanks a ton! – Linuxn00b Dec 5 '15 at 21:13

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