Linux provides a wealth of tools for monitoring and managing your system, and the
watch command is a powerful tool for keeping track of real-time activity. Whether you’re a system administrator, a developer, or a curious user, the
watch command can be an invaluable addition to your toolkit.
Here are some key points to remember about the
watchruns a command repeatedly, displaying the output in the terminal.
- By default,
watchruns the command every 2 seconds, but you can specify a different interval with the
watchcan highlight changes in the output with the
- You can use the
doption to highlight changes between successive updates.
toption disables the time and date display.
Most people don’t realize that the
watch command can be used with any command, not just system utilities. This means you can use
watch to monitor the output of any command, including scripts and programs that you write yourself.
Here are 5 examples of how you can use the
watch command to increase productivity and efficiency:
Monitor system resources: Use
watch to monitor resource usage in real-time, such as CPU and memory usage. For example:
watch -n 1 "top -b -n 1"
Track changes to a file: Use
watch to monitor changes to a file, such as a log file or configuration file. For example:
watch -n 1 "tail /var/log/syslog"
Monitor network traffic: Use
watch to monitor network traffic, such as incoming and outgoing packets. For example:
watch -n 1 "sudo iftop -n"
Keep an eye on processes: Use
watch to monitor the status of processes on your system. For example:
watch -n 1 "ps aux"
Monitor external services: Use
watch to monitor the status of external services, such as a remote server or a web service. For example:
watch -n 1 "curl -s -I <http://example.com>"
Now it’s your turn to test your knowledge of the
watch command. Try using the
watch command to monitor the output of a command that you choose. Can you think of any other creative uses for the
watch command? Share your thoughts in the comments below.