HowTo: Exit From top Command In Linux / Unix / BSD / OS X

Posted on in Categories , , last updated January 5, 2014

I am a new Linux and Unix system users. I was told to use the top command to display and update sorted information about processes. I do not know how to exit from top command. I simply close the Terminal app. How do I exit from top command without closing my Terminal on Linux/Unix-like operating systems?

When top is run in interactive (non-logging) mode, it is possible to control the output of top, as well as interactively send signals to processes. When operating top, the two most important keys are help (h or ?) and quit (q) key.

top command options

You need to just press q (small letter q) to quit or exit from top session.


Alternatively, you could simply use the traditional interrupt key ^C (press CTRL+C) when you’re done with top command.

Display help

To display help just press ?




Related media (Video) – Exit from top command

This tutorial is also available in a quick video format:

(Video 01: How to exit from top command)

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

3 comment

  1. On Openwrt and Dd-wrt I found that only “CTRL+C” works to quit using Top “q, h, ?” does not work, on other Linux / Unix based systems I have all the commands to quit Top work “q, h, ?, and CTRL+C”, not sure why but maybe someone else will find this useful.

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