NVIDIA GPUs htop like monitoring tool

pushedAt 2 weeks ago



What is NVTOP?

Nvtop stands for NVidia TOP, a (h)top like task monitor for NVIDIA GPUs. It can handle multiple GPUs and print information about them in a htop familiar way.

Because a picture is worth a thousand words:

NVTOP interface

Table of Contents

NVTOP Options and Interactive Commands

Interactive Setup Window

NVTOP has a builtin setup utility that provides a way to specialize the interface to your needs. Simply press F2 and select the options that are the best for you.

NVTOP Setup Window

Saving Preferences

You can save the preferences set in the setup window by pressing F12. The preferences will be loaded the next time you run nvtop.

NVTOP Manual and Command line Options

NVTOP comes with a manpage!

man nvtop

For quick command line arguments help

nvtop -h
nvtop --help

GPU Support

The NVML library does not support some of the queries for GPUs coming before the Kepler microarchitecture. Anything starting at GeForce 600, GeForce 800M and successor should work fine. For more information about supported GPUs please take a look at the NVML documentation.


Two libraries are required in order for NVTOP to display GPU information:

  • The NVIDIA Management Library (NVML) which comes with the GPU driver.
    • This queries the GPU for information.
  • The ncurses library driving the user interface.
    • This makes the screen look beautiful.

Distribution Specific Installation Process

Ubuntu / Debian

Ubuntu disco (19.04) / Debian buster (stable)

  • sudo apt install nvtop


Fedora / RedHat / CentOS

  • NVIDIA drivers, CUDA required for nvml libraries (see RPM Fusion)
  • CMake, ncurses and git
    sudo dnf install cmake ncurses-devel git


Arch Linux

  • sudo pacman -S nvtop


  • sudo layman -a guru && sudo emerge -av nvtop


  • NVIDIA drivers (same as above)

  • nvidia-docker (See Container Toolkit Installation Guide)

  • git clone https://github.com/Syllo/nvtop.git && cd nvtop
    sudo docker build --tag nvtop .
    sudo docker run -it --rm --runtime=nvidia --gpus=all --pid=host nvtop


git clone https://github.com/Syllo/nvtop.git
mkdir -p nvtop/build && cd nvtop/build
cmake ..

# Install globally on the system
sudo make install

# Alternatively, install without privileges at a location of your choosing
# make DESTDIR="/your/install/path" install

If you use conda as environment manager and encounter an error while building nvtop, try conda deactivate before invoking cmake.

The build system supports multiple build type (e.g. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo):

  • Release: Binary without debug information
  • RelWithDebInfo: Binary with debug information
  • Debug: Compile with warning flags and address/undefined sanitizers enabled (for development purposes)


  • The plot looks bad:
    • Verify that you installed the wide character version of the NCurses library (libncursesw5-dev for Debian / Ubuntu), clean the build directory and restart the build process.
  • Putty: Tell putty not to lie about its capabilities ($TERM) by setting the field Terminal-type string to putty in the menu Connection > Data > Terminal Details.


Nvtop is licensed under the GPLV3 license or any later version. You will find a copy of the license inside the COPYING file of the repository or at the gnu website <www.gnu.org/licenses/>.

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