slurm: Within one standard deviation

Abel sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago, reminding me that slurm belonged in the S section, and we discussed why slurm isn’t really a favorite for either of us. Here’s what it looks like, if you’ve never used it:


slurm does a lot of things right, but still falls short on a few other points. And when you stack it up against things like speedometer or ifstatus, it’s just riding in the middle of the pack.

There’s the good …

  • Color, and color themes, which is a nice touch.
  • Flexible, in terms of interface as well as refresh rate and graph modes.
  • Not tied to superuser, so you can start it without needing administrator access. And yes, for a normal desktop user like me, that is a feature.

… and the bad …

  • Sits in a fixed space, which is a huge disappointment if you’re using a tiled window manager or just like to resize windows from time to time. You’re either losing space that’s unused, or clipping the display.
  • No adjustable graph heights, so there’s a “bounce” effect if the display rate changes drastically.
  • No keystroke to redraw the screen. If you do decide to shrink the terminal, then resize again to a larger dimension, the graph labels don’t redraw and now there’s just data out there, flapping in the wind.

I think you get the point. It’s not terribly flawed, just missing out on some important points.

Abel said he (?) had seen slurm mentioned a few times on other sites and thought it was getting undue attention. I’d have to agree with that. It’s not a bad program, and it does a few things right. But overall it’s just sitting somewhere around one standard deviation.

P.S.: It’s worth mentioning that the link to the slurm “home page” is a github repo, I believe because Hendrik Scholz’s original version at disappeared long ago.

2 thoughts on “slurm: Within one standard deviation

  1. Pingback: nbwmon: An ncurses bandwidth monitor, of course | Inconsolation

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