Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Ubuntu 11.10: Showing the System Monitor

The death of D5 has necessitated a reinstallation, so I finally decided to take the dive and give Unity a fair shot. Opinion will be forthcoming. 

One of the first things I do in any new installation is add a system monitor to a panel I can see all the time. I like to know the instant my system resource utilisation changes.

Under Unity, the ability to add items to the top panel isn't immediately obvious, but the solution is nonetheless simple:

# apt-get install indicator-multiload
$ indicator-multiload &

New readers: in code extracts, # signifies a root shell and $ signifies a user shell. In practical terms, what this means is that when a line begins with #, use the command sudo to temporarily become the root user. You may be prompted for your password after doing so. For example, in the case above you would enter:
sudo apt-get install indicator-multiload
indicator-multiload & 

Note that there is a bug in the present version whereby the CPU "nice" measure accidentally shows the CPU "system" measure, and vice versa. A bug has been raised, and by using a newer version from the ppas (details in the LP entry referenced) you can avoid this problem. Alternatively, just switch your colour selections for the Nice and System measures.