How to get current CPU and RAM usage in Python?


What's your preferred way of getting current system status (current CPU, RAM, free disk space, etc.) in Python? Bonus points for *nix and Windows platforms.

There seems to be a few possible ways of extracting that from my search:

  1. Using a library such as PSI (that currently seems not actively developed and not supported on multiple platform) or something like pystatgrab (again no activity since 2007 it seems and no support for Windows).

  2. Using platform specific code such as using a os.popen("ps") or similar for the *nix systems and MEMORYSTATUS in ctypes.windll.kernel32 (see this recipe on ActiveState) for the Windows platform. One could put a Python class together with all those code snippets.

It's not that those methods are bad but is there already a well-supported, multi-platform way of doing the same thing?

10/2/2012 7:30:39 PM

Accepted Answer

The psutil library will give you some system information (CPU / Memory usage) on a variety of platforms:

psutil is a module providing an interface for retrieving information on running processes and system utilization (CPU, memory) in a portable way by using Python, implementing many functionalities offered by tools like ps, top and Windows task manager.

It currently supports Linux, Windows, OSX, Sun Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD, both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, with Python versions from 2.6 to 3.5 (users of Python 2.4 and 2.5 may use 2.1.3 version).

UPDATE: Here is some example usages of psutil:

#!/usr/bin/env python
import psutil
# gives a single float value
# gives an object with many fields
# you can convert that object to a dictionary 
2/12/2019 8:39:43 PM

Use the psutil library. On Ubuntu 18.04, pip installed 5.5.0 (latest version) as of 1-30-2019. Older versions may behave somewhat differently. You can check your version of psutil by doing this in Python:

from __future__ import print_function  # for Python2
import psutil

To get some memory and CPU stats:

from __future__ import print_function
import psutil
print(psutil.virtual_memory())  # physical memory usage
print('memory % used:', psutil.virtual_memory()[2])

The virtual_memory (tuple) will have the percent memory used system-wide. This seemed to be overestimated by a few percent for me on Ubuntu 18.04.

You can also get the memory used by the current Python instance:

import os
import psutil
pid = os.getpid()
py = psutil.Process(pid)
memoryUse = py.memory_info()[0]/2.**30  # memory use in GB...I think
print('memory use:', memoryUse)

which gives the current memory use of your Python script.

There are some more in-depth examples on the pypi page for psutil.

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