I installed CUDA toolkit on my computer and started BOINC project on GPU. In BOINC I can see that it is running on GPU, but is there a tool that can show me more details about that what is running on GPU - GPU usage and memory usage?

21 Answers 21


For Nvidia GPUs there is a tool nvidia-smi that can show memory usage, GPU utilization and temperature of GPU. There also is a list of compute processes and few more options but my graphic card (GeForce 9600 GT) is not fully supported.

Sun May 13 20:02:49 2012       
| NVIDIA-SMI 3.295.40   Driver Version: 295.40         |                       
| Nb.  Name                     | Bus Id        Disp.  | Volatile ECC SB / DB |
| Fan   Temp   Power Usage /Cap | Memory Usage         | GPU Util. Compute M. |
| 0.  GeForce 9600 GT           | 0000:01:00.0  N/A    |       N/A        N/A |
|   0%   51 C  N/A   N/A /  N/A |  90%  459MB /  511MB |  N/A      Default    |
| Compute processes:                                               GPU Memory |
|  GPU  PID     Process name                                       Usage      |
|  0.           Not Supported                                                 |
  • 1
    My ION chip does not show usage, either. :/
    – Raphael
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 22:15
  • 280
    watch -n 0.5 nvidia-smi, will keep the output updated without filling your terminal with output.
    – Bar
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 18:26
  • 120
    @Bar Good tip. watch -d -n 0.5 nvidia-smi will be even better.
    – zeekvfu
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 16:27
  • 20
    @zeekvfu I think it'd be better to explain what does the -d flag do Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 14:41
  • 35
    @donlucacorleone man watch tells us the -d flag highlights differences between the outputs, so it can aid in highlighting which metrics are changing over time. Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 2:56

For linux, use nvidia-smi -l 1 will continually give you the gpu usage info, with in refresh interval of 1 second.

  • 148
    I prefer to use watch -n 1 nvidia-smi to obtain continuous updates without filling the terminal with output
    – ali_m
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 23:59
  • 2
    Using watch means your starting a new process every second to poll the cards. Better to do -l, and not every second, I'd suggest every minute or every 5 minutes.
    – Mick T
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 15:55
  • 14
    Is starting a new process at that rate so detrimental? Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 10:54

Recently I have written a simple command-line utility called gpustat (which is a wrapper of nvidia-smi) : please take a look at https://github.com/wookayin/gpustat.

  • 1
    It's so cool really.
    – bim
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 12:34
  • 2
    I had to use sudo -H pip install gpustat comamnd to install and then i could just run gpustat -a -i 3 and works like charm
    – saumilsdk
    Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 8:48

For Intel GPU's there exists the intel-gpu-tools from http://intellinuxgraphics.org/ project, which brings the command intel_gpu_top (amongst other things). It is similar to top and htop, but specifically for the Intel GPU.

   render busy:  18%: ███▋                                   render space: 39/131072
bitstream busy:   0%:                                     bitstream space: 0/131072
  blitter busy:  28%: █████▋                                blitter space: 28/131072

          task  percent busy
           GAM:  33%: ██████▋                 vert fetch: 0 (0/sec)
          GAFS:   3%: ▋                       prim fetch: 0 (0/sec)
            VS:   0%:                      VS invocations: 559188 (150/sec)
            SF:   0%:                      GS invocations: 0 (0/sec)
            VF:   0%:                           GS prims: 0 (0/sec)
            DS:   0%:                      CL invocations: 186396 (50/sec)
            CL:   0%:                           CL prims: 186396 (50/sec)
           SOL:   0%:                      PS invocations: 8191776208 (38576436/sec)
            GS:   0%:                      PS depth pass: 8158502721 (38487525/sec)
            HS:   0%:                      
            TE:   0%:                      
          GAFM:   0%:                      
           SVG:   0%:                      

You can use nvtop, it's similar to htop but for NVIDIA GPUs. Link: https://github.com/Syllo/nvtop

Install on Ubuntu with sudo apt install nvtop

enter image description here


nvidia-smi does not work on some linux machines (returns N/A for many properties). You can use nvidia-settings instead (this is also what mat kelcey used in his python script).

nvidia-settings -q GPUUtilization -q useddedicatedgpumemory

You can also use:

watch -n0.1 "nvidia-settings -q GPUUtilization -q useddedicatedgpumemory"

for continuous monitoring.

  • 4
    Glad this wasn't a comment. It's exactly what I was searching for when I came across this question. Commented Jun 20, 2015 at 0:24
  • Thanks, this is what worked for me, since I have a GeForce card which is not supported by nvidia-smi.
    – alexg
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 9:23
  • 6
    You can do nvidia-settings -q all to see what other parameters you can monitor. I'm monitoring GPUCurrentProcessorClockFreqs and GPUCurrentClockFreqs.
    – alexg
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 9:34
  • 1
    Thanks man, good idea to query all, since each card may have different strings to monitor! Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 19:08
  • 1
    @Hossein: That might be because nvidia-settings looks at the X Display variable $DISPLAY. In a GPGPU server, that won't work - if only because such servers typically have multiple GPU's
    – MSalters
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 14:56

Recently, I have written a monitoring tool called nvitop, the interactive NVIDIA-GPU process viewer.

Screenshot Monitor

It is written in pure Python and is easy to install.

Install from PyPI:

pip3 install --upgrade nvitop

Install the latest version from GitHub:

pip3 install git+https://github.com/XuehaiPan/nvitop.git#egg=nvitop

Run as a resource monitor:


nvitop will show the GPU status like nvidia-smi but with additional fancy bars and history graphs.

For the processes, it will use psutil to collect process information and display the USER, %CPU, %MEM, TIME and COMMAND fields, which is much more detailed than nvidia-smi. Besides, it is responsive for user inputs in monitor mode. You can interrupt or kill your processes on the GPUs.

nvitop comes with a tree-view screen and an environment screen:



In addition, nvitop can be integrated into other applications. For example, integrate into PyTorch training code:

import os
from nvitop.core import host, CudaDevice, HostProcess, GpuProcess
from torch.utils.tensorboard import SummaryWriter

device = CudaDevice(0)
this_process = GpuProcess(os.getpid(), device)
writer = SummaryWriter()
for epoch in range(n_epochs):

    # some training code here
    # ...

            'device/memory_used': float(device.memory_used()) / (1 << 20),  # convert bytes to MiBs
            'device/memory_percent': device.memory_percent(),
            'device/memory_utilization': device.memory_utilization(),
            'device/gpu_utilization': device.gpu_utilization(),

            'host/cpu_percent': host.cpu_percent(),
            'host/memory_percent': host.virtual_memory().percent,

            'process/cpu_percent': this_process.cpu_percent(),
            'process/memory_percent': this_process.memory_percent(),
            'process/used_gpu_memory': float(this_process.gpu_memory()) / (1 << 20),  # convert bytes to MiBs
            'process/gpu_sm_utilization': this_process.gpu_sm_utilization(),
            'process/gpu_memory_utilization': this_process.gpu_memory_utilization(),

See https://github.com/XuehaiPan/nvitop for more details.

Note: nvitop is dual-licensed by the GPLv3 License and Apache-2.0 License. Please feel free to use it as a dependency for your own projects. See Copyright Notice for more details.

  • Works like charm with just conda virtual environment without sudo access if anyone is looking for a solution WITHOUT admin access. Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 16:03
  • For non-sudo users, pip install nvitop will install into ~/.local/bin by default. Users can add --user option to pip explicitly to make a user-wise install. Then you may need to add ~/.local/bin into your PATH environment variable. If there is no system Python installed, you can use Linuxbrew or conda to install Python in your home directory.
    – Xuehai Pan
    Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 18:11
  • I really like this because it shows Time-Series for both CPU & GPU. Many tools only show current usage, or Time-Series for either, but not for both. 👍
    – Hyperplane
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 17:23

I have a GeForce 1060 GTX video card and I found that the following command give me info about card utilization, temperature, fan speed and power consumption:

$ nvidia-smi --format=csv --query-gpu=power.draw,utilization.gpu,fan.speed,temperature.gpu

You can see list of all query options with:

$ nvidia-smi --help-query-gpu
  • 5
    It would be worth adding memory.used or (memory.free) as well.
    – Zoltan
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 9:10
  • thanks! For narrower info, this works too nvidia-smi --format=csv --query-gpu=memory.used,memory.total,utilization.gpu Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 19:17

For Linux, I use this HTOP like tool that I wrote myself. It monitors and gives an overview of the GPU temperature as well as the core / VRAM / PCI-E & memory bus usage. It does not monitor what's running on the GPU though.


enter image description here

  • 3
    nvidia-settings requires a running X11, which is not always the case. Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 0:57
  • 2
    I reached here while searching for the same thing for AMD's APU, and found there's radeontop which can be installed with sudo apt install -y radeontop.
    – Nav
    Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 7:07

For completeness, AMD has two options:

  1. fglrx (closed source drivers).

     $ aticonfig --odgc --odgt
  2. mesa (open source drivers), you can use RadeonTop.

     $ sudo apt-get install radeontop; radeontop

View your GPU utilization, both for the total activity percent and individual blocks.

  • 2
    I'm using official radeon proprietary driver, but aticonfig command does not exists '__')
    – Kokizzu
    Commented Jul 26, 2020 at 12:11
  • 2
    @Kokizzu 7 years a long time makes, Linux changes a lot :)
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 2:05
  • 1
    I find it dangerous for users to add this -yoption to apt. Many people don't understand APT and command line, they should at least have the possibility to confirm what they are doing when pasting commands from random online pages. (also we can use apt instead of apt-get which is meant for scripts.)
    – kro
    Commented Jan 16 at 14:16

I have had processes terminate (probably killed or crashed) and continue to use resources, but were not listed in nvidia-smi. Usually these processes were just taking gpu memory.

If you think you have a process using resources on a GPU and it is not being shown in nvidia-smi, you can try running this command to double check. It will show you which processes are using your GPUs.

sudo fuser -v /dev/nvidia*

This works on EL7, Ubuntu or other distributions might have their nvidia devices listed under another name/location.


Glances has a plugin which shows GPU utilization and memory usage.

enter image description here


Uses the nvidia-ml-py3 library: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/nvidia-ml-py3


For OS X

Including Mountain Lion

iStat Menus

Excluding Mountain Lion


The last version of atMonitor to support GPU related features is atMonitor 2.7.1.

– and the link to 2.7.1 delivers 2.7b.

For the more recent version of the app, atMonitor - FAQ explains:

To make atMonitor compatible with MacOS 10.8 we have removed all GPU related features.

I experimented with 2.7b a.k.a. 2.7.1 on Mountain Lion with a MacBookPro5,2 with NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT. The app ran for a few seconds before quitting, it showed temperature but not usage:

                                                  screenshot of atMonitor 2.7b on Mountain Lion


for nvidia on linux i use the following python script which uses an optional delay and repeat like iostat and vmstat


$ gpu_stat.py 1 2
{"util":{"PCIe":"0", "memory":"10", "video":"0", "graphics":"11"}, "used_mem":"161", "time": 1424839016}
{"util":{"PCIe":"0", "memory":"10", "video":"0", "graphics":"9"}, "used_mem":"161", "time":1424839018}

The following function appends information such as PID, user name, CPU usage, memory usage, GPU memory usage, program arguments and run time of processes that are being run on the GPU, to the output of nvidia-smi:

function better-nvidia-smi () {
    join -1 1 -2 3 \
        <(nvidia-smi --query-compute-apps=pid,used_memory \
                     --format=csv \
          | sed "s/ //g" | sed "s/,/ /g" \
          | awk 'NR<=1 {print toupper($0)} NR>1 {print $0}' \
          | sed "/\[NotSupported\]/d" \
          | awk 'NR<=1{print $0;next}{print $0| "sort -k1"}') \
        <(ps -a -o user,pgrp,pid,pcpu,pmem,time,command \
          | awk 'NR<=1{print $0;next}{print $0| "sort -k3"}') \
        | column -t

Example output:

$ better-nvidia-smi
Fri Sep 29 16:52:58 2017
| NVIDIA-SMI 378.13                 Driver Version: 378.13                    |
| GPU  Name        Persistence-M| Bus-Id        Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan  Temp  Perf  Pwr:Usage/Cap|         Memory-Usage | GPU-Util  Compute M. |
|   0  GeForce GT 730      Off  | 0000:01:00.0     N/A |                  N/A |
| 32%   49C    P8    N/A /  N/A |    872MiB /   976MiB |     N/A      Default |
|   1  Graphics Device     Off  | 0000:06:00.0     Off |                  N/A |
| 23%   35C    P8    17W / 250W |    199MiB / 11172MiB |      0%      Default |

| Processes:                                                       GPU Memory |
|  GPU       PID  Type  Process name                               Usage      |
|    0                  Not Supported                                         |
|    1      5113    C   python                                         187MiB |
9178  187MiB                tmborn  9175  129   2.6    04:32:19  ../path/to/python script.py args 42
  • Carefull, I don't think the pmem given by ps takes into account the total memory of the GPU but that of the CPU because ps is not "Nvidia GPU" aware
    – SebMa
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 14:09
  • Wht does "off" mean in this?` 0 GeForce GT 730 Off ` Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 15:15

You can use

nvidia-smi pmon -i 0

to monitor every process in GPU 0. including compute/graphic mode, sm usage, memory usage, encoder usage, decoder usage.


To monitor GPU usage in real-time, you can use the nvidia-smi command with the --loop option on systems with NVIDIA GPUs. Open a terminal and run the following command:

nvidia-smi --query-gpu=timestamp,name,utilization.gpu,utilization.memory,memory.total,memory.free,memory.used --format=csv --loop=1

This command will display GPU usage information in real-time with a refresh interval of 1 second (you can change the interval by modifying the value after --loop=). The displayed information includes timestamp, GPU name, GPU utilization, memory utilization, total memory, free memory, and used memory.


This script is more readable and is designed for easy mods and extensions.

You can replace gnome-terminal with your favorite terminal window program.

#! /bin/bash

if [ "$1" = "--guts" ]; then
    echo; echo "    ctrl-c to gracefully close"
    f "$a"
    f "$b"
    exit 0; fi

# easy to customize here using "nvidia-smi --help-query-gpu" as a guide
p=0.5    # refresh period in seconds
s=110x9  # view port as width_in_chars x line_count

c="s/^/    /; s/, +/\t/g"
t="`echo '' |tr '\n' '\t'`"
function f() { echo; nvidia-smi --format=csv "$1" |sed -r "$c" |column -t "-s$t" "-o   "; }
export c t a b; export -f f
gnome-terminal --hide-menubar --geometry=$s -- watch -t -n$p "`readlink -f \"$0\"`" --guts


License: GNU GPLv2, TranSeed Research


I didn't see it in the available answers (except maybe in a comment), so I thought I'd add that you can get a nicer refreshing nvidia-smi with watch. This refreshes the screen with each update rather than scrolling constantly.

watch -n 1 nvidia-smi

for one second interval updates. Replace the 1 with whatever you want, including fractional seconds:

watch -n 5 nvidia-smi
watch -n 0.1 nvidia-smi

you can use "GPU Dashboards in Jupyter Lab"

enter image description here enter image description here

Introduction NVDashboard is an open-source package for the real-time visualization of NVIDIA GPU metrics in interactive Jupyter Lab environments. NVDashboard is a great way for all GPU users to monitor system resources. However, it is especially valuable for users of RAPIDS, NVIDIA’s open-source suite of GPU-accelerated data-science software libraries.ref


This is a variant that lets you monitor GPU usage on a Unix command line as a continuous graph.

pip install pipeplot if you don't already have it. It's a simple curses utility. sed -u forces it to not buffer anything, so it plots properly.

nvidia-smi -l 1 --query-gpu=utilization.gpu --format=csv | sed -u s/%// | sed -u s/util.*/0/ | pipeplot

I was nervous about installing the other apps, but this seems minimal.

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