What Do the Colors in The HTOP Bar Mean?

By default, htop shows colored status bars for processors, memory, and swap. From left to right, the bars are colored green, blue, yellow, and red depending on some thresholds.

htop screenshot

There are two modes for CPU metrics reporting: the default one, and a "detailed CPU time" which can be enabled from the Setup screen (Display Options / Detailed CPU time). All of them show the percentage of time spent in different processes:

Default mode

  • Blue: low priority processes (nice > 0)
  • Green: normal (user) processes
  • Red: kernel time (kernel, iowait, irqs...)
  • Orange: virt time (steal time + guest time)

Detailed mode

  • Blue: low priority threads (nice > 0)
  • Green: normal (user) processes
  • Red: system processes
  • Orange: IRQ time
  • Magenta: Soft IRQ time
  • Grey: IO Wait time
  • Cyan: Steal time
  • Cyan: Guest time

Memory meters are more straightforward:

  • Green: Used memory pages
  • Blue: Buffer pages
  • Orange: Cache pages

Note: Info obtained from htop source code at https://github.com/hishamhm/htop/blob/master/CPUMeter.c .

 

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Until next time!

January 22 2020

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