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Linux Newbies - Top, a great way to find out what’s hogging your CPU

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HowTos

Back in the day when GUIs weren’t in favor, and I had to walk up hill, both ways to get to my computer, a wonderfully powerful utility was born in the Unix world. This utility was and still is top.

Go ahead and open up a terminal and type: top

At first this may be a little confusing. Not to worry, I’ll give you a basic rundown of what top is and can do. We won’t cover everything here, but I’ll give you enough knowledge to get really dangerous.

You’ll notice that top takes over your terminal, and starts displaying a whole bunch of stuff. At the top of your terminal window this utility will show you your system time, uptime number of users and load average.

Then you’ll get how many tasks there are, and what they’re doing.
You’ll also get some statistics on your CPU(s) and memory.

Now the fun stuff.

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