We’re not short of system monitoring tools for Ubuntu, with an array of desktop apps, extensions, widgets, Conky scripts, and command-line tools readily available to us.
But if you’re keen to keep an eye firmly fixed on system resource usage the newly launched SystemStatsPlus GNOME extension will appeal (though only if you use Ubuntu 23.10, as this only supports GNOME 45 atm).
SystemStatsPlus provides “real-time visualization of key system resources”, and described itself as “an essential tool for anyone looking to keep a close eye on their system’s performance”.
Once installed, this extension embeds live, updating resource graphs in the top bar/system tray. You get individual graphs for:
- CPU usage (per core)
- RAM utilisation
- Swap memory
- Network activity
You don’t need to open an app or keep a window in view as you can, at any time, glance at your top panel to see current utilisation. Clicking on a panel graph will instantly open the default System Monitor app.
Hover over a panel graph (each is an distinct, individual column) to reveal a pop-over that shows historical trends for that resource, along with some textual context about the values on show.
Think the text labels in the drop down are difficult to read, contrast wise? Me too. I imagine this is an Ubuntu-specific theme issue, as the extension’s screenshots appear to be taken in a vanilla GNOME install using Adwaita, and there the text is bright white.
Also note that in my screenshots I’m using a dual-core processor (well, a VM with only 2 cores assigned) so only two core columns appear. If you have more, you’ll see more, as you can see here:
You can install SystemStatsPlus from GNOME Extensions using a web browser or, recommended, using the Extensions Manager desktop app, which you can install from the Ubuntu repos or fetch from Flathub.
On Ubuntu (I’m not sure which packages other distros ship with) you MUST install the
gir1.2-gtop-2.0 package for this extension to work. If you don’t, it won’t. You will likely need to log out and back in after you install it before it appears in the panel.
Is this useful to you? Let me know what you think below!