I like htop output, but it is not installed by default on my Ubuntu cloud server. How do I install htop on Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS server?

Htop is a free and open source ncurses-based process viewer for Linux. It is released under GPL license. htop is similar to top command on Linux but allows you to scroll vertically and horizontally. This page explains two different methods to install htop on Ubuntu Linux.

Procedure to install htop on Ubuntu Linux

  1. Open the terminal application for the local system. For remote system use the ssh command
  2. Update your Ubuntu system, run: sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  3. Install htop on Ubuntu using apt: apt install htop
  4. To install the latest version of htop on Ubuntu Linux: snap install htop
  5. Launch htop, type: htop

Let us see all steps and command in details.

Ubuntu Linux Linux install htop

First, update the system using apt command or apt-get command:
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Let us search for htop package, run:
apt-cache search htop
Sample outputs:

htop - interactive processes viewer
aha - ANSI color to HTML converter
libauthen-oath-perl - Perl module for OATH One Time Passwords
pftools - build and search protein and DNA generalized profiles

Get information about htop package

Run the following command:
apt show htop

Package: htop
Version: 2.1.0-3
Priority: optional
Section: utils
Origin: Ubuntu
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
Original-Maintainer: Daniel Lange <DLange@debian.org>
Bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+filebug
Installed-Size: 221 kB
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.15), libncursesw5 (>= 6), libtinfo5 (>= 6)
Suggests: lsof, strace
Homepage: https://hisham.hm/htop/
Task: cloud-image, server, lubuntu-desktop-share, lubuntu-gtk-desktop, lubuntu-desktop, lubuntu-qt-desktop
Supported: 5y
Download-Size: 80.0 kB
APT-Manual-Installed: yes
APT-Sources: http://in.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic/main amd64 Packages
Description: interactive processes viewer Htop is an ncursed-based process viewer similar to top, but it allows one to scroll the list vertically and horizontally to see all processes and their full command lines. . Tasks related to processes (killing, renicing) can be done without entering their PIDs.

Install htop using apt or apt-get

Now you know package name. It is time to install the same:
sudo apt install htop
sudo apt-get install htop
install htop on Ubuntu using apt command

How to install the latest version of htop using snap

Search for htop using the snap command:
snap search htop
Sample outputs:

Name Version Publisher Notes Summary
htop 2.2.0 maxiberta - Interactive processes viewer

Next, install it using the snap, run:
sudo snap install htop
Sample outputs:

[sudo] password for vivek: htop 2.2.0 from Maximiliano Bertacchini (maxiberta) installed

How to use htop command

The syntax is:
htop [options]

Running htop on an Ubuntu Linux server
One can use a monochrome color scheme, run:
htop -C
htop --no-color

Want to see the tree view by default when running htop? Try:
htop -t
htop --tree

Let us see only processes of a given user named vivek:
htop -u vivek
htop --user=vivek
htop --user=nginx

Limit and show process for only the given PIDs:
htop -p PID
htop -p PID1,PID2
htop -p 1342
htop -p 7435,1367

htop command keyboard shortcut keys

Now that you install htop on Ubuntu. It is time to learn keyboard shortcuts. The following commands are supported while in htop session:

Command Description
Up arrow key Select (highlight) the previous process in the process list. Scroll the list if necessary.
Down arrow key Select (highlight) the next process in the process list. Scroll the list if necessary.
Left arrow key Scroll the process list left.
Right arrow key Scroll the process list right.
PgUp, PgDn Scroll the process list up or down one window.
Home Scroll to the top of the process list and select the first process.
End Scroll to the bottom of the process list and select the last process.
s Trace process system calls: if strace(1) is installed, pressing this key will attach it to the currently selected process, presenting a live update of system calls issued by the process.
l Display open files for a process: if lsof(1) is installed, pressing this key will display the list of file descriptors opened by the process.
u Show only processes owned by a specified user.
M Sort by memory usage (top compatibility key).
P Sort by processor usage (top compatibility key).
T Sort by time (top compatibility key).
F “Follow” process: if the sort order causes the currently selected process to move in the list, make the selection bar follow it. This is useful for monitoring a process: this way, you can keep a process always visible on screen. When a movement key is used, “follow” loses effect.
K Hide kernel threads: prevent the threads belonging the kernel to be displayed in the process list. (This is a toggle key.)
H Hide user threads: on systems that represent them differently than ordinary processes (such as recent NPTL-based systems), this can hide threads from userspace processes in the process list. (This is a toggle key.)
p Show full paths to running programs, where applicable. (This is a toggle key.)
Ctrl-L Rfresh the screen.
F1 See this help menu.
h Same as above.
? Again, same as above.
F10 Quit htop
q Exit htop (same as above)

How to get help about htop

Simply type:
htop --help
man htop


This page showed you how to install and use htop on Ubuntu Linux 16.04/18.04 LTS. For more information see htop home page online here.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.