ctop – manage and monitor your Docker containers

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In this post, I’d like to introduce you to a nice command line tool called ctop. I discovered it when I was looking for a tool to monitor some Docker containers for a MongoDB replica set on my local machine while running some load tests.

ctop is basically a better version of docker stats. To install it on MacOS you can simply use

$ brew install ctop

After that, just run

$ ctop

Assuming you have some running Docker containers, the main view displays all running (and also all inactive) containers:

ctop main view

The columns are showing the same KPIs like memory, CPU usage and so on that you may know from docker stats. But … with ctop, you select a container (using up and down arrows) and perform the following actions on it:

ctop menu

You can

  • switch to a detail view of a single container
  • inspect a container’s log
  • stop a running container
  • start and remove an inactive container (not shown in the above screenshot)

The detailed view looks like this and displays some time-based ASCII charts for the KPIs:

ctop detail view

All in all, it is a nice tool that makes managing and monitoring Docker containers a bit easier.

For download and full documentation, check out the ctop GutHub page.


Dipl.-Math. Tobias Trelle is a Senior IT Consultant at codecentric AG in Solingen/Germany. He’s into IT business for nearly 20 years and is interested in software architecture and scalability. Tobias gives talks at conferences and meetups and is the author of the German book “MongoDB: Der praktische Einstieg”.


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