19 September 2018

htop is super helpful tool to monitor system usage included CPU, memory, opening threads and so on. As we can see, there are several colors in cpu/memory bar which make us confused their meaning. However, this SO question clarified that fortunately.


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
Yellow/Orange: Cache pages

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

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