9 Best Ubuntu system monitors

Users switch to Ubuntu looking for advanced control over the systems and functionalities taking place within their workstations. Performing tasks and operations smoothly requires proper utilization of resources and tools, and for that purpose, adequate monitoring tools are needed.

Monitoring tools are mighty helpful as they track the performance of plenty of different components and activities. With the best tools, people can check the processor’s output and efficiency, memory allocation, network tracking, and the status of all the different hardware components.

Why are System Monitoring tools so important?

Modern businesses and related operations rely on computers and operating systems for performing everyday operations and delivering desired outputs. As a company’s operations grow, more and more systems get integrated into its platform.

With the large number of systems functioning simultaneously, the need for proper monitoring and utilization of resources increases as unnecessary usage can cause time and money wastage. This is where the many online tools come in, which assist people in tracking and monitoring their Ubuntu servers.

Ubuntu users can take advantage of the tracking tools to fish out any service or component failure before they start decreasing the system’s efficiency or negatively impacting the user.

Experts advise users to forgo using the built-in monitor and start using an excellent and well-rounded tool for achieving greater control over operations.

Picking the right System Monitoring tool

When people started browsing the web for the best monitoring programs, they came across various options. The ever-increasing list of available tools tends to confuse users, but people can make a thoughtful and smart selection with the help of the below list.

9 Best System Monitors for Ubuntu

The tools listed below have all been tested by industry experts and come highly recommended from them. The best-suited monitoring tools are:

Htop – Interactive Process Viewer

A system monitor that comes highly recommended by the experts is Htop. The tool is available on multiple platforms and can perform all the essential tracking and monitoring chores.

The tool can assist people by giving them greater control over their resources’ utilization.  The tool can be downloaded for popular OSs such as Linux and macOS, but other less known OSs also support it.

The makers behind the tool wanted to give the users customization abilities, so they introduced various colours and themes. A thing that monitoring tools often lack is text mode, which results in many users abounding the tool.

Htop was created while keeping consoles in mind, so the text mode support comes automatically into the play.

Users can track load times and uptime with the help of the tool as well. The best thing about the tool is that it delivers many practical and useful functionalities while still being free to use. The tool is, without a doubt, one of the best tools for Linux users.

$ sudo apt-get install htop

Glances – Cross Platform Monitoring Tool

The next monitoring tool that experts suggest is Glances. The tool is another one of those rare commodities that can be used on multiple platforms. The tool was designed to give users ease of usage while not sacrificing the quality due to which its interfaces are based on the web.

The tool gives people many advantages and removes many constraints as well. As the tool is web-based, it allows remote access to monitoring data so users can check up on the record from anywhere.

No matter the terminal’s size, the tool always automatically scales up or down and provides all the essential information to the user within the window.

The excellent interface and the remote access makes the tool one of the most liked and used monitoring tools. The only downside of the tool is that it requires significant processing power to operate correctly due to its advanced functionalities and features.

Stacer – Linux System Optimizer and Monitoring

Stacer is a monitoring tool that many of the users of Linux and Ubuntu prefer. With the tool’s assistance, users can track all the power and memory utilization of their systems and can also perform optimization tasks.

The tool was designed while keeping modern standards and usages in mind. The tool’s interface is terrific to use as people can get accustomed to it within no time.

The tool has everything and more that people expect from a monitoring program. Users can track and view system failures, services’ usage, and processors’ usage. The tool can also perform various optimization operations, such as doing away with unneeded caches and cleaning trash from the system.

The tool lets people search its features and systems’ different usages with the assistance of filters. Filtered searches make the handling of the tool even more effortless.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oguzhaninan/stacer
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install stacer

BashTOP – Resource Monitoring Tool for Linux

For people that want to keep track of every operation taking place within their system BashTOP is an excellent monitoring tool. The tool is specifically designed for Linux, due to which it is optimized.

The tool’s usage leans more towards single or personal computer users as its features are excellent for them. People who are looking to monitor or track complete servers will find this tool to be somewhat lacking.

The tool has an excellent layout of information, and its interface is also pleasant. People can get used to its simple interface in no time. The downside to this tool is that it lags other monitoring tools in terms of speed.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bashtop-monitor/bashtop
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install bashtop

GNOME Ubuntu System Monitor – GNOME Shell Extensions

The GNOME monitoring tool is another excellent tool that comes installed on various systems running Linux operating systems. The tool provides users with all the essential tracking and monitoring data.

Users can check which applications are using the memory, processing time of the various systems, and storage space of each application and program with this tool’s help. 

Users can understand that the tool is straightforward to use from the first time the tool starts. The tool displays the records and information very clearly and conveniently in its interface so that the user does not have a hard time accessing it.

The toolmakers have introduced various tabs and sections in the interface so that people can view the desired data immediately. The processor, memory, and network tab each display information regarding their relevant usages.

With the help of the tool, people can even check their network’s upload and download speed.

Netdata – Monitor everything in real time for free

Another tool that can be used on multiple platforms is Netdata. The industry experts highly recommend using this tool because of its tremendous and beautiful user interface. The tool can be used for monitoring both personal and server activities and trends.

The tool has many smart features built-in, which allows it to send precautionary messages to the users in advance. With timely updates, administrators or users can save their systems from slowing down or from hardware breakdown.

The tool remains a subject of astonishment as it provides excellent features to the users without charging anything.

SolarWinds – Server & Application Monitor

SolarWinds’s monitoring tool is one of the best systems and server tracking tools in the industry. The tool can be used on all the different platforms of the Linux OS. The tool allows users to track a monitor all the problems that a server might experience, and with the data’s help, the issues can be minimized and eliminated.

If users face problems such as prolonged response times, data loss, or basic lagging, they should start using the tool instantaneously. The tool gives users the capability to view which applications are using what resources. The tool also brings forth applications that are wasting resources.

The tool comes equipped with smart functionalities that allow automation in the monitoring process. The intelligent features and functionalities of the tool make its initial setup hassle-free. With the tool’s help, people can start effectively monitoring their servers and systems within 60-minutes after setup.

The tool also has the capability of monitoring all the various types of servers.  The tool’s features and functionalities are vast, but still, its interface remains easy to operate. One month’s free to use the trial of the tool is also available online.

Paessler – PRTG Network Monitor

Paessler is a network monitoring tool that can effectively and efficiently track a user’s system without the worry of any security breach. The tool provides many network monitoring features and has performance tracking capabilities as well. The tool uses sensors to perform various tasks.

The sensors track and accumulate data of the system’s different resources, after which it is presented to the user. The tool takes the assistance of over two hundred sensors to function.  Some of the functions that sensors perform are:

  • Calculating the average load time of the applications and programs.
  • Always Tracking RAM usage and availability.
  • Monitoring the traffic of specific devices of the server.
  • Performing customizable tasks for users.

The tool uses sensors such as the meminfo sensor and traffic sensor to perform such tasks.

The tool can give administrators and users a quick overview of the server’s performance and, if needed, can also provide lengthy and in-depth information regarding the system’s operations. The data can assist users in better unitizing their resources.

All the different types of hardware components and devices attached to a server can be tracked and monitored with this tool’s help. The tool also sends out alert messages to the system users if any pre-defined limit is being exceeded.

The tool sends out warning messages as well when any device or resource is being over-burdened.

The tool is great for users who are looking to increase their server’s efficiency and work rate. If users think that their server is being targeted by an unknown source or its systems and resources are being intentionally wasted, they should quickly start using the monitoring tool.

People can understand all the shortcomings and flaws of their servers and networks by employing the tool. The tool also gives the option of customization to the users who enjoy such features.

Nagios – IT Infrastructure Monitoring

The last of this list’s monitoring tools is Nagios. The company offers two different tools for monitoring purposes. The tools are designed for tracking usages solely on the Linux OS. The tools are competent with their many features and offer users customization capabilities.

The industry experts hold these tools in high regard, but their drawback, according to them, is their tricky interface. While the functionalities are top-notch, the tools’ interface can be a bit hard for users to get around.

The advanced functionalities that the tools offer more than makes up for the somewhat lacking interface. Users get instantaneous alerts of any system or device failure with the help of the tools.

The first of the two tools offered by the company is Nagios Core. The tool provides users server and application tracking capabilities free of cost. The interface of the free version is very standard as it allows users to generate and send reports via various platforms.

The tool can perform all the monitoring chores effortlessly. In case any system or server takes a hit or experiences failure, the tool instantaneously sends a report to the user.

The reports generated by this tool covers all the critical information and events that occurred in a specific period. The Cores also generate graphs of data for further ease in reviewing processes.

The advanced functionalities of the tool make it an excellent choice for monitoring purposes. The industry experts do advise against the use of open-source programs for business use.

The second monitoring tool offered by the company is Nagios XI. The tool was designed specifically for business. The tool provides functionalities that are superior to its free-to-use sibling.

The tool comes equipped with an engine that can track and monitor servers efficiently. The tool is also highly customizable as people can set its layout and design according to their preferences.

checkmk Powerful Open-Source Server Montior tool

  • It allows user to monitor multiple servers in one single tool. It can be used to monitor Linux desktop different distros, Windows servers, macOS etc.
  • User can monitor virtual machine or cloud infrastructure using Checkmk that includes Amazon web services, VMWare and other virtual machines, Docker and Kubernetes, etc.
  • User can monitor Web server, mail server, database; Some examples are Apache and NGINX, Postfix, qmail and Exim, Oracle, MySQL, MSSQL, all different kinds of mail services.

Selecting the best tool

There is no single monitoring tool that can be considered the best as every individual has different needs. Although a single best cannot be decided, people can give the tools mentioned above a go through, and from them, they can indeed find the one that suits them best.

All the above tools come equipped with advanced features and great interfaces. From the list, people can easily find free as well as paid tools.

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