Command line Linux administration tools you should know about.

I decided to just take a few minutes and give a quick rundown of some of the tools that I use on a regular basis.  Some of these tools might be tools that you aren’t used to using or haven’t heard of, so I figured it was worth a write-up.

As usual if you have any suggestions or questions there are a ton of ways to get a hold of me.,,, and


Htop is just a more feature rich version of the top command that you are likely used to using.  It adds some color into the window as well as easier sorting of processes by resource usage.


Bmon allows you to get a visual look into what’s going on with your network adapters.  It has the benefit of being able to show multiple network adapters and a nice little graph.  I don’t use this one too often, but I have used it several times.


This is another one that doesn’t get used as often as the other ones, but it certainly has it’s place, especially on this list.  Iotop is similar to top and htop but instead of seeing system resources such as RAM and CPU it shows you what processes are using the system diskio.


This is one of my favorite tools on this list, and I use it a lot.  This one allows you to drill down into your filesystem to see what is using your disk space.  This one is helpful because the majority of the servers that I manage are hosted on servers that are 100% SSD, so storage is often limited. 


This one is cool.  I install it on almost all of my servers because it allows me to just login and see what is going on.  The idea is this tool doesn’t specialize on any one type of information but gives a glance into what is going on within the system.


Slurm is just another network monitoring tool, but it gives a nice colored graph as well as additional information.  This tool focuses on a single interface as opposed to bmon which monitors all of the interfaces on the machine.


This is the final network monitoring tool that I will put here, but I think that it deserves a spot on this list because as opposed to the other tools that I listed, this one focuses on network usage per process instead of by interface.

In closing…

This was really just a small list of the thousands of tools that are available to system administrators.  These are ones that I find that I use often, or that I have found fit best in their role.  

If you feel like I missed anything, leave a comment down there or come and drop by the forum let me know.

Daniel is a freelance web developer and IT consultant with a passion for security and privacy. Although he isn't much of a writer, he enjoys writing blog posts that help out others in the community.

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