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Re: layout for top's CPU utilization display

On 12-May-08, at 7:14 AM, Tobias Nygren wrote:

I guess eventually there will be more processors than lines on an 80x24 terminal. How do people feel about changing the above to something like this?

user nice sys intr idle user nice sys intr idle CPU0 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100% CPU4 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100% CPU1 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100% CPU5 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100% CPU2 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100% CPU6 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100% CPU3 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100% CPU7 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 100%

I don't really like that layout -- one per line is best, if there must be one line per CPU.

Two points:

1. aspiring to fit useful information, especially about "large" systems, within an 80x24 display is not a useful or laudable goal in these days when mega-pixel displays are practically the minimum. It's easy to get at least 50 lines with decent character size on even a small laptop display. I'm not even sure it's worthwhile to try to write code to alternately support a compromised layout like that in case it is detected that the current screen size is too small.

2. the one per line layout really is much easier to read I think, i.e. for the eye to be able to see trends and patterns in the data. Of course ideally a graphical representation is most useful for this purpose.

Anyway, beyond 4-6 lines it's not very likely that many of us can sum up the total utilization on every update, even if it is only once every 5 seconds. A more dedicated, and hopefully more graphical, display would be best if the goal is to visualize individual CPU usage (say to verify the fairness of the scheduler and/or the achieved parallelism of the workload). For the likes of 'top' and 'systat' it is probably best to just give the overall CPU utilization on one line.

                                        Greg A. Woods; Planix, Inc.

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