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30 years ago, top was born. scout_realtime is top for the modern developer.

Note: This project is no longer being maintained or supported.

top terminal


Install scout_realtime on your server, then access locally from your dev box.

On your server:

$ gem install scout_realtime

$ scout_realtime

Then, on your local computer:

$ ssh -NL 5555:localhost:5555 user@ip_or_hostname
Where user@ip_or_hostname is your usual SSH access - this creates an SSH tunnel to your server.

Point your browser to http://localhost:5555


Computers have changed a bit since 1984. Shouldn't top change too?

Here’s what we’ve updated:


Is scout_realtime free?

Yes - and open-source too! View the source on Github. scout_realtime is maintained by the team at Scout, a SaaS server monitoring solution trusted by tens of thousands of developers.

Is scout_realtime secure?

The daemon fetches key metrics from you server, stores them in memory, and renders them in your browser - there is no inbound communication and nothing is written to disk. We run it on our own production servers.

What operating systems are supported?

scout_realtime relies heavily on the proc file system to fetch metrics. procfs is available on Linux-based distributions. OSX and FreeBSD do not have full support for procfs and are not supported.

What version of Ruby is required?

You need Ruby 1.9.3+ on your server to run scout_realtime.

Does my server need to have a public IP or domain name?

Yes, you need a public IP or domain name to view scout_realtime in your browser.

Can multiple people view the realtime stats?

Yes. Open a port in your firewall instead of using the SSH tunnel:
sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 5555 -j ACCEPT

The SSH tunnel is a pain. Is there a way to set up persistent access?

Yes, just open a port in your firewall using the iptables command above.

Can I specify a different port to run it on?

scout_realtime --help
for options.

Can I specify where the the log and/or PID is written?

scout_realtime --help
for options.

How much CPU and memory will this consume if I leave it running?

We've clocked the CPU usage of the scout_realtime daemon at 1% on an Intel Xeon 2.40GHz CPU. Memory usage is around 22 MB. If you turn off the metric collection (by clicking the pause button on the web page), CPU usage will effectively drop to 0%, and you'll still be able to visit the web page and re-enable metrics at any time.

Installing the gem didn't work.

You need Ruby 1.9.3+ on your server to run scout_realtime. Try
which ruby
(to confirm you have Ruby),
ruby -v
(to show Ruby's version), and
which gem
to confirm you have Ruby gems (Ruby's package manager) available.

Where's the log file?

By default, the a log is written to ~/.scout/scout_realtime.log

How do I stop the daemon?

scout_realtime stop

How do I uninstall scout_realtime?

gem uninstall scout_realtime