htop as an alternative top
“top” is one of those programs, that are used quite often but actually nobody talks about. It just does its job: showing statistics about memory, cache and cpu consumption, listing processes and so on. Actually top provides you some more features like batch mode and the ability to kill processes, but it’s all quite low level - e.g. you have to type the process id (pid) of process you want to kill.
So, though an applications like top makes sense on the console, a more sophisticated one would be great, extending the basic top functionality with enhancements to it’s usage. This tool already exists: It’s the ncurses based “htop” and we’ll have a closer look at it now.
For the beginning: Install “htop” by running “aptitude install htop”, Synaptic or the package manager of your choice. As you can see, htop is quite colorful, which is, of course, a matter of taste.