csysdig(1) the ncurses user interface for sysdig


csysdig [option]... [filter]


csysdig exports sysdig's functionality through an intuitive and powerful ncurses-based user interface.

csysdig has been designed to mimic tools like top and htop, but it offers richer functionality, including:

  • Support for both live analysis and sysdig trace files. Trace files can come from the same machine or from another machine.
  • Visibility into a broad range of metrics, including CPU, memory, disk I/O, network I/O.
  • Ability to observe input/output activity for processes, files, network connections and more.
  • Ability to drill down into processes, files, network connections and more to further explore their behavior.
  • Full customization support.
  • Support for sysdig's filtering language.
  • Container support by design.

csysdig works on any terminal, and has support for colors and mouse input.


csysdig is based on the concept of 'views', little Lua scripts that determine how metrics are collected, processed and represented on screen. Including a new visualization to csysdig doesn't require to update the program, and is simply a matter of adding a new view. Views rely on the sysdig processing engine, and this means that they can include any sysdig filter field. Views are located in the sysdig chisel directory path, usually /usr/share/sysdig/chisels and ~/.chisels.


Here are some basic tips to get you started with sysdig:

If you run csysdig without arguments, it will display live system data, updating every 2 seconds. To analyze a trace file, use the -r command line flag.
You can switch to a different view by using the F2 key.
You can drill down into a selection by clicking enter. You can navigate back by typing backspace.
You can observe input/output for the currently selected entity by typing F5
You can see sysdig events for the currently selected entity by typing F6


You drill down by selecting an element in a view and then clicking enter. Once inside a selection, you can switch to a different view, and the new view will be applied in the context of the selection. For example, if you drill down into a process called foo and then switch to the Connections view, the output will include only the connections made or received by foo.

To drill down multiple times, keep clicking enter. For example, you can click on a container in the Containers view to get the processes running inside it, and then click on one of the processes to see its threads.


Each view has a list of command lines that can be executed in the context of the current selection by pressing 'hotkeys'. For example, pressing 'k' in the Processes view kills the selected process, pressing 'b' in the Containers view opens a bash shell in the selected container.

Each view supports different actions. You can see which actions a view supports by pressing F8. You can customize the view's actions by editing the view's Lua file.


Starting csysdig with the -pc command line switch will cause many of the views to include additional container information. For example, the Processes will include a column showing the container the process belongs to. Similarly, the Connections view will show which container each connection belongs to.


Views Window

Arrows, PgUP, PgDn, Home, End

Change the selection and scroll view content, both vertically and horizontally.


Drill down into the currently highlighted entry.


Navigate back to the previous view.


Show the view picker. This will let you switch to another view.


Incremental search in the list of view entries.


Incremental filtering of the view entries.

F5, e

'echo FDs' for the selection, i.e. view FD input/output for the currently highlighted entry.

F6, d

'dig' into the selection, i.e. view sysdig events for the currently highlighted entry. Refer to the sysdig man page to learn about interpreting the content of this window.


Show the help page for the currently displayed view.


Open the view's actions panel.

F9, >

Open the column sort panel.

F10, q


DEL, c

For views that are listing elements without aggregating them by key (identifiable by yellow column headers), this command clears the view content.


Pause screen updates.

<shift> <1-9>

sort column <n>

F1, h, ?

Show the help screen.

Echo and sysdig Windows

Arrows, PgUP, PgDn, Home, End

Scroll the page content.


Navigate back to the previous view.


Search inside the window content.


Find Next.


Chose the output rendering format. Options are 'Dotted ASCII' (non-printable binary bytes are rendered as dots), 'Printable ASCII' (non-printable binary bytes are not included and line endings are rendered accurately) and 'Hex' (dotted ASCII representation is included together with the Hexadecimal rendering of the buffers).

DEL, c

Clear the screen content.


Pause screen updates.


Go to line.

Spectrogram Window


Show the view picker. This will let you switch to another view.


Pause/Resume the visualization.


Navigate back to the previous view.


  • Clicking on column headers lets you sort the table.
  • Double clicking on row entries performs a drill down.
  • Clicking on the filter string at the top of the screen (the text after 'Filter:') lets you change the sysdig filter and customize the view content.
  • You can use the mouse on the entries in the menu at the bottom of the screen to perform their respective actions.


-d period, --delay=period

Set the delay between updates, in milliseconds (by default = 2000). This works similarly to the -d option in top.

-E, --exclude-users

Don't create the user/group tables by querying the OS when sysdig starts. This also means that no user or group info will be written to the tracefile by the -w flag. The user/group tables are necessary to use filter fields like user.name or group.name. However, creating them can increase sysdig's startup time.

-h, --help

Print this page

-k, --k8s-api

Enable Kubernetes support by connecting to the API server specified as argument. E.g. "<http://admin:[email protected]:8080>". The API server can also be specified via the environment variable SYSDIG_K8S_API.

-K btfile | certfile:keyfile[#password][:cacertfile], --k8s-api-cert=btfile | certfile:keyfile[#password][:cacertfile]

Use the provided files names to authenticate user and (optionally) verify the K8S API server identity. Each entry must specify full (absolute, or relative to the current directory) path to the respective file. Private key password is optional (needed only if key is password protected). CA certificate is optional. For all files, only PEM file format is supported. Specifying CA certificate only is obsoleted - when single entry is provided for this option, it will be interpreted as the name of a file containing bearer token. Note that the format of this command-line option prohibits use of files whose names contain ':' or '#' characters in the file name. Option can also be provided via the environment variable SYSDIG_K8S_API_CERT.

-l, --list

List all the fields that can be used in views.

--logfile file

Print program logs into the given file.

-m url[,marathon-url], --mesos-api=url[,marathon-url]

Enable Mesos support by connecting to the API server specified as argument (e.g. <http://admin:[email protected]:5050>). Marathon url is optional and defaults to Mesos address, port 8080. The API servers can also be specified via the environment variable SYSDIG_MESOS_API.


Don't convert port numbers to names.

-n num, --numevents=num

Stop capturing after num events

-pc, -pcontainers_

Instruct csysdig to use a container-friendly format in its views. This will cause several of the views to contain additional container-related columns.

-r readfile, --read=readfile

Read the events from readfile.

-s len, --snaplen=len

Capture the first len bytes of each I/O buffer. By default, the first 80 bytes are captured. Use this option with caution, it can generate huge trace files.

-v view_id, --views=view_id

Run the view with the given ID when csysdig starts. View IDs can be found in the view documentation pages in csysdig. Combine this option with a command line filter for complete output customization.


Print version number.


Similarly to what you do with sysdig, you can specify a filter on the command line to restrict the events that csysdig processes. To modify the filter while the program is running, or to add a filter at runtime, click on the filter text in the UI with the mouse.


csysdig is completely customizable. This means that you can modify any of the csysdig views, and even create your own views. Like sysdig chisels, csysdig views are Lua scripts. Full information can be found at the following github wiki page: <https://github.com/draios/sysdig/wiki/csysdig-View-Format-Reference>.



The global views directory.


The personal views directory.


Draios Inc. (dba Sysdig) <[email protected]>