How to install htop on pfSense firewall

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I am using pfSense version 2.3.2-RELEASE (FreeBSD 10.3-RELEASE-p5). How do I install htop version 2.x on a pfSense firewall?

htop is an awesome and interactive system-monitor process-viewer. It acts as an alternative to the FreeBSD program top. It is a text-mode application and latest version works on FreeBSD based pfsense firewall too.

Install htop 2.x on pfSense

You need to log in using ssh client:
ssh admin@your-pfsense-firewall-ip-here
ssh admin@

Select option # 8 (shell).
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: pfsense ssh login
Fig.01: pfsense ssh login

To install htop, type:
pkg install htop
Sample outputs:
Fig.02: installing htop on a pfsense
Fig.02: installing htop on a pfsense

How do I use htop on pfSense firewall?

Simply type htop at the shell prompt (you may need to type rehash for the first time):
Sample outputs:

Animated gif 01: htop in action
Animated gif 01: htop in action

How do I show only processes of a given user?

To see only processes of a given user (say nixcraft), enter:
htop -u nixcraft
htop --user=nixcraft

How do I show only the given PIDs?

The syntax is:
htop -p PID,[,PID,PID...]
htop --pid=PID,[,PID,PID...]
htop -p 31151,24721

How do I disable color scheme?

To see a monochrome color scheme, enter:
htop -C
htop --no-color

See htop man page for more information:
man htop

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

3 comment

  1. Installing apps that are not in the PFSense Package Manager comes with some risk. Adding programs that are not tested by the PFSense team can have an impact on the security of the firewall. Personally, I wouldn’t risk it.

    1. htop installed from PFSense repo and not from the official FreeBSD repo. So I don’t see how this is going to provide some risk. The official FreeBSD repo are disabled for pkg.

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