System monitor


There are typically three kinds of Linux desktop users. The first group includes those that like to run a single application in full-screen mode, taking up the entire display. The second group contains the growing number of people who use a tiling window manager. These still use every pixel of screen real estate, but they allow for more than one application to run at once by shuffling their windows around automatically. The third group prefers to see the desktop background occasionally, often running one or more applications as floating windows they can resize and relocate at will. All of these groups, but particularly the first two, will find it difficult to accommodate small windows, precluding the use of many of the best floating system monitors. Except this one.

Gambal is a tiny and unobtrusive floating window that constantly displays an overview of network, CPU, and memory usage. It does this without causing any other windows to resize or move. Thanks to its variable opacity, it can easily sit atop a full-screen application or tiling window manager without obscuring the information beneath it. Most of the space in its tiny window is taken up by the histogram of incoming and outgoing network data, which is also shown as numbers on the left. Beneath this, there are upload and download totals, a meter per core to show CPU usage, and a flat bar to show used memory, swap memory, and free memory. When you roll your cursor over the window, two further options appear. One lets you select which network device to monitor while the other switches between bold and normal font rendering. Apart from using the mouse scroll wheel to change the opacity value of the window, there are no other options. You can't even change the window size. But that's also one of the best things about this little tool, because it's one less distraction to worry about.

Project Website

Gambal takes very few system resources and very little screen space, making it an excellent monitoring utility.

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