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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool Pick of the Week
Note to readers: This is actually last week's pick of the week, which I failed to get online before the end of the week! This week's Pick of the Week is Panther, but I'm not going to write about it, as the vast majority of the content here will refer to Panther for the next several weeks. So here's a week's worth of exposure for last week's pick...

MenuMeters imageThe macosxhints Rating:
10 of 10
[Score: 10 out of 10]
I've been looking for a good system utilization tool for quite a while. I wanted something with an unobtrusive GUI that tracked things like memory usage, CPU utilization, and disk usage. A reference in a previous hint pointed me to MenuMeters, and it's exactly what I've been looking for. MenuMeters lives in the menubar, and tracks all sorts of details in many formats -- you can view data on CPU usage, disk usage, memory allocation, and network performance. Within each of those categories, you can usually choose one of several viewing methods (text, graph, pie chart, etc.), with a bunch of options for refresh rate, size, colors, etc.

Instead of explaining it, though, here's a 30-second clip of it in action on my machine while I did some stuff this morning -- click here (or on the image itself) to watch the movie.


The Tx/Rx data shows the data transmit/receive rates, the U:/F: is the Used and Free RAM, the green/red lights are disk reads and writes, and the two graphs are CPU utilization. These are just my settings, obviously -- MenuMeters has so much customization you can create just about anything you want.

If you're looking for a nice, unobtrusive system monitor that doesn't seem to suck up a ton of resources (either screen real estate or CPU!), check out MenuMeters.
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  • Currently 2.50 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (8 votes cast)
 
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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool | 17 comments | Create New Account
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works in panther (kind of)
Authored by: wibs on Oct 27, '03 10:43:42AM

while menumeters works in panther, and your preferences for it stick, at startup/login you need to manually turn it on each time. this kind of sucks, but settings the menumeters pref pane as a startup item isn't too big of a hassle.



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works in panther (kind of)
Authored by: Lecter on Oct 27, '03 10:55:09AM
They know about this, and until a fix is issued, use the following workaround:

MenuMeters 1.1 has a bug on Panther that prevents it from working correctly if its installed to "/Users//Library/PreferencePanes" When installed to that location you will need to reenable the MenuMeters after every login (the settings do not properly persist across logout/login).

A fix for this is being developed and should be available in the next few days. In the meantime you can install to "/Library/PreferencePanes/" and MenuMeters will work properly.
Hope that helps.

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works in panther (kind of)
Authored by: Azark on Oct 27, '03 11:37:05AM

I confirm it works flawlessly when installed in /Library/PreferencePanes/

I was a bit surprised when I read it didn't work in panther!

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PB Ghz 1024 Combo
G4 400 AGP



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works in panther (kind of)
Authored by: ulrich on Oct 27, '03 11:44:11AM

Lecter, Thanks for this hint. It drives me insane to switch it back on everytime I restart or log out. This pane is the best donationware utility for the mac ever.



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works in panther (kind of)
Authored by: daze on Oct 27, '03 06:53:58PM

I've had the same problem, but after moving the MenuMeters items around in the menu bar (holding down the commad-key and draging the items with the mouse), Panther remebered to load the MenuMeters during the next startup.



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Great utility
Authored by: phillymjs on Oct 27, '03 11:09:10AM

This, and UptimeInMenubar go on every OS X Server I set up. I find them both indispensable.

~Philly

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Ohhh, WHY did I register with Insta-Trace???



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Great utility
Authored by: mzarra on Oct 27, '03 12:11:59PM

Just FYI but menu meters shows your up time as well. If you click on the CPU gauge it is part of the information that is displayed in the drop down.



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I like it, but one small thing...
Authored by: monickels on Oct 27, '03 11:34:41AM

I like and use MenuMeters, but the only thing I dislike about it is the too-large space at the left of the numbers in the menu bar. Your image shows it perfectly: it doesn't need to be that big. At the *most* you only need three digits to the left of the decimal, since it should switch from kb to KB to MB to GB. Make it smaller! Or else give me the option of putting the icon at the very left of the menu bar, no matter waht.



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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool
Authored by: zorgaliscious on Oct 27, '03 12:07:32PM

too bad it doesnt work with Panther.

At least, it doesnt start up. I have to go and turn on the meters when I restart (rarely). It works otherwise... just doesnt appear when logging in.



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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool
Authored by: timb on Oct 27, '03 12:32:54PM

FYI, it also has full PowerMate support. :-D



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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool
Authored by: splattertrousers on Oct 27, '03 12:46:43PM

Menumeters is cool, but I wish the display looked a bit better. I changed all the colors into various shades of gray so it stands out less, but it's still not "pretty". (I'm glad the author got it to work well before worrying about looking good, but maybe now it's time to make it look good too.)



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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool
Authored by: maverick28 on Oct 27, '03 01:10:14PM

Coming from a Linux background, I'm still getting used to OS X, but one application I was particularly pleased to see playing nice with OS X is gKrellM (http://www.gkrellm.net). It needs X11, but provides almost endless customizibility for system monitoring.



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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool
Authored by: mzarra on Oct 27, '03 02:52:22PM

While I love MenuMeters on my notebook I have found that I am liking iPulse more and more. It is a lot "prettier" and while it does take up desktop space, it shows a tremendous amount of information in a small amount of space.



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iPulse rocks
Authored by: benfsmith on Oct 27, '03 05:14:06PM

I agree. I have tried and paid for a number of system utilities, but iPulse is really the most space efficient and comprehensive. It does everything that I was previously using 5 applications to do.



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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool
Authored by: bkperry on Oct 27, '03 09:25:49PM

iPulse is incredible- probably the most elegant and interesting solution to a tricky problem. Highly recommended. I bought it!



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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool
Authored by: Chris Biagini on Nov 01, '03 01:11:02PM

I agree wholeheartedly. iPulse is *fantastic*.

If you haven't tried it, read jade's review at Ars Technica.

http://www.arstechnica.com/archive/news/1065765951.html



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MenuMeters - A flexible, powerful system monitoring tool
Authored by: arekkusu on Oct 27, '03 03:35:21PM

The best thing about this is that the source is available. I didn't like the extra space between the net graph and throughput numbers, so I just fixed it myself! I also removed the 1 pixel baseline in the graph and reversed the "opposed" mode Rx/Tx so they match the labels. And added support for recognizing the 7457 in my AlBook. (patches submitted back to the author for merging into the trunk.)



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