Sysmon – A Graphical System Activity Monitor for Linux

Sysmon is a Linux activity monitoring tool similar to Windows task manager, was written in Python and released under GPL-3.0 License. This is a Graphical visualization tool that visualizes the following data.

By default distribution like Ubuntu comes with a system monitor tool, but the drawback with the default monitor tool is it does not display HDD, SSD, and GPU loads.

Sysmon adds all the features to a single place similar to the Windows Task Manager.

  • CPU/GPU utilization and per-core clock speed.
  • Memory and Swap utilization.
  • Network utilization (Wlan and Ethernet). WLAN link bandwidth is constantly updated.
  • SSD/HDD utilization.
  • Overview of a running process.

In this article, you will learn how to install and use the Sysmon monitoring tool in Linux desktop systems.

Installing Sysmon Linux Monitor Tool

Since sysmon is written in python, you need to have a python package manager PIP setup in your machine. Sysmon depends on the following packages pyqtgraph, numpy, and pyqt5.

Install Sysmon Using PIP

When you install the sysmon using PIP dependencies are automatically installed.

$ pip install sysmon   [for Python2]
$ pip3 install sysmon  [for Python3]
NOTE: Depending upon how you configured PIP you need to use PIP or PIP3, sometimes PIP3 will be a symbolic link to PIP.
Install Sysmon in Linux
Install Sysmon in Linux

If you have an Nvidia GPU, nvidia-smi has to be installed to monitor it.

Install Sysmon Using GitHub Repo

Alternatively, you can pull the repository from Github and install the package. But when following this method you have to make sure the dependent package (numpy, pyqtgraph, pyqt5) is installed separately.

$ pip install pyqtgraph pyqt5 numpy   [for Python2]
$ pip3 install pyqtgraph pyqt5 numpy  [for Python3]

You can check the list of installed packages from pip using the following commands.

---------- Python 2 ---------- 
$ pip list                       # List installed package
$ pip show pyqt5 numpy pyqtgraph # show detailed information about packages.

---------- Python 3 ----------
$ pip3 list                       # List installed package
$ pip3 show pyqt5 numpy pyqtgraph # show detailed information about packages.
List Pip Installed Packages
List Pip Installed Packages

Now the dependency is satisfied and good to install sysmon by cloning the repo from GitHub.

$ git clone
$ cd /sysmon/src/sysmon
$ python3

The preferable method is to install packages using PIP, as PIP handles all the dependency and keeps the installation simple.

How to Use Sysmon in Linux

To launch sysmon, simply type sysmon at the terminal.

$ sysmon

All the data points are grabbed from the /proc directory.

  • CPU data are grabbed from /proc/cpuinfo and /proc/stat.
  • Memory data are grabbed from /proc/meminfo.
  • Disks data are grabbed from /proc/diskstats.
  • Network data are grabbed from /proc/net/dev and iwconfig (Wlan).
  • Processes data are grabbed from the ‘ps -aux’ command.
Sysmon Linux Process Monitor
Sysmon Linux Process Monitor
Sysmon Linux Network and Disk Monitor
Sysmon Linux Network and Disk Monitor
Sysmon Linux CPU and Memory Monitor
Sysmon Linux CPU and Memory Monitor

That’s it for this article. This tool is just a prototype and many more features like IOWait, Support for Intel and AMD GPU, Dark Mode, kill the process, sort, etc.. are in the pipeline to be added. Let’s wait and see how this tool is getting matured over a period of time.

A passionate software engineer who loves to explore new technologies. He is a public speaker and loves writing about technology, especially about Linux and open source.

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  1. This does NOT WORK on Ubuntu 20.04. It has a load of bugs in it. Too numerous to mention here and I was not impressed with the experience of having to type new lines for it to find the files sysmon was installed in. I’ll give you a hint: ./local

    • @Tom

      Thanks for sharing your feedback. sysmon is just a prototype version as of now. we have to wait and see how this tool is maturing in the coming days.


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