Tag Archives: meter

dbar and cpubar: Progress for the people

I mentioned pscpug over a month ago, as a neat, vertically scrolling CPU monitor that required very little in the way of system overhead or terminal real estate. You can get something like that from cpubar, which is itself an offshoot of dbar.


Showing you one — and in this case, that’s cpubar, modified slightly for terminal width and the display character — is showing you both of them, since they are tightly related. dbar can stand alone or work as a progress bar with other applications, or be modified or injected into other arenas.

Neither one comes with a makefile or any additional components; click on the download links on the home page, and you get the raw .c file … only. You’re signing on for about 4Kb apiece for the pure code though, and I’m fairly sure you can afford it.

It does also make me curious as to why dbar is bundled in Debian. Seeing how the i386 package expands to about 10 times what the raw downloadable takes, this might be one of those very, very few times when you’re doing just as well to download and build it yourself.

In any case, it’s not in Arch or AUR, which is probably more of an oversight than any statement about inflating tiny programs by bundling them in your distro. If you feel like adopting a terribly simple application and adding it to AUR, this would be an easy one.

Speaking directly to cpubar, you have the option (as I hinted) to stretch the bar to a specific length, given in characters. You can also adjust the interval and select a specific character to show. There are no allowances for color, but I’m sure one of you talented C wizards can come up with a solution to that in about an hour. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I don’t have any complaints about cpubar (or dbar, for that matter), except to mention that the character count given as a flag is for the length of the bar only, and not your terminal width. In other words, you have to mentally subtract the 12 characters that are shown statically by cpubar, if you want it to fit neatly into a terminal space. It’s not the way I would have written it, but there’s a lot here that can be adjusted to your liking.

And so, in closing, if you’re wondering what use cpubar (or maybe even dbar) could be, think about a two-line terminal emulator pressed against the root window, showing CPU load at a two-second interval. Or if you’re feeling really ambitious, jam it into conky … or maybe conconky.

That should keep you busy for a while. ๐Ÿ˜‰

dfc: The way it should be done

This is dfc, and this is how disk usage tools should behave:


That’s just clean, and easy, and clear. Well-labeled, with human-readable denominations and consistent use of color. Adjustable to the width of the terminal, with the addition of filesystem types, and a few other points of interest.

I can’t find a fault to report, unless I want to pick at its choices in color. And given that I can fix that in a few moments by editing .config/dfc/dfcrc, my complaints would be weak indeed.

Plus, dfc wins mega points for converting its output into vanilla HTML. That means you’re only a few keystrokes away from converting the above output into:


You Latex fiends get special attention from dfc too, as do the csv warriors in the crowd. dfc is that helpful. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

In fact, I can’t find a thing unlikeable about dfc. I’m more than willing to hand out a coveted-yet-valueless K.Mandla gold star to this one: โญ Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

pydf: Disk space, in color

I pulled pydf out of the dark corners of my memory, just to make an appearance here again today.


Simple enough. A good rundown on drives, mounted points, sizes, and space left. A visual indicator for those of us who think it important.

And color. Everybody likes color. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And … I can’t think of anything else to say. I know I remember another disk usage tool that used solid blocks instead of ASCII characters, but I can’t recall it now.

I shall soon have to dredge that out of my memory too. ๐Ÿ˜•

discus: This is how it’s supposed to work

A few weeks ago I was whining because cdf wouldn’t behave like I knew it could — correction: like I knew it had. Here’s discus, which might be closer to what I was wanting.


That’s what I look for in a “graphical” disk usage monitor. Very nicely done. Clean columns, adjustable significant digits, pick your unit of size, and best of all … color!

Okay, I harp on color sometimes … all the time. ๐Ÿ™„ It’s a small thing I enjoy seeing.

That aside, discus does what I wanted, gives me clean output, handles most every instance without getting confused, and gives me enough customization to make me happy.

There’s not much more to say about a program which just shows disk usage. But there are good ways and bad ways to do that. As you will see later. … ๐Ÿ˜