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Gem Version

Termplot is a simple terminal plotting tool for visualising streaming data.

Termplot Demo Image


Termplot draws live plots of data in your terminal. It's handy for quickly visualising streaming data and works with any numeric data you can pipe into stdin or otherwise obtain by running a shell command.


The tool is a ruby gem and can be installed with:

$ gem install termplot


There are 3 ways to provide input to termplot:

  • Stdin: Pipe data into standard input
  • Command: Specify a command to be ran at an interval
  • Configuration file: Read a multi-chart configuration from a file

Pipe data into standard input

COMMAND | termplot [OPTIONS]

COMMAND is any command that will periodically output numbers to standard out delimited by a newline. These will be consumed by termplot and drawn to a chart.

You can specify the following options (all are optional):

    -r, --rows ROWS           Number of rows in the chart window (default: 19)
    -c, --cols COLS           Number of cols in the chart window (default: 100)
        --full-screen         Render to the full available terminal size

        --type TYPE           The type of chart to render.
                              Options are: timeseries (default), stats, hist

        --timeseries          Shorthand for --type timeseries
        --stats               Shorthand for --type stats
        --hist                Shorthand for --type hist

    -t, --title TITLE         Title of the series (default: 'Series')
        --color COLOR         Series color, specified as ansi 16-bit color name:
                              (i.e. black, light_black, red, light_red,
                              green (default), light_green, yellow,
                              light_yellow, blue, light_blue, magenta,
                              light_magenta, cyan, light_cyan, white,
                              light_white, default)

        --line-style STYLE    Line style.
                              Options are: line, heavy-line (default), dot, star, x, bar


Plot a sine wave from standard in:
for i in $(seq 500); do \
  echo $i | awk '{ print sin($0/10) }'; \
  sleep 0.5; \
  done | termplot -t "Sin(x)" --color red

Sine Wave Plot

Plot histogram of network times as reported by ping:
ping |
  awk '{ split($8,arr,"="); print arr[2]; fflush("/dev/stdout") }' |
  termplot -t "Ping Response Times (ms)" --hist

Ping Response Times Plot

Plot histogram of data from column 33 of a CSV file:
cat file.csv | cut -d, -f33 | tail -n +2 |
  termplot -- --hist -r30 -t "Data" --color light_black

File Data Plot

Run command at an interval

To run a command at an interval, specify --command, and optionally --interval to termplot:

termplot --command 'COMMAND' --interval INTERVAL [OPTIONS]

COMMAND will be invoked at the specified interval in milliseconds (default: 1000) and its output will be used as the data for the chart. You can specify all the same additional options as in stdin mode above.


Plot number of TCP connections over time:
termplot --command 'ss -s | head -n1 | cut -d" " -f2' \
  --interval 500 -t "TCP Connections"

TCP Connections Plot

Plot memory usage of process with PID 4396:
termplot --command "ps -q 4396 -o rss= | awk '{ print (\$0/1024.0) }'" \
  -t "Process 4396 Memory (MB)" --color light_magenta

Process Memory Plot

Specify a multi-chart configuration

You can configure termplot to set up a multi-chart dashboard using a ruby configuration file:

termplot [--file/-f] FILE

The configuration file uses a simple ruby DSL to arrange charts into rows and columns. Each chart will take a command and optionally an interval as well as formatting options. Termplot will then run the command at the specified interval and render the resulting data into the charts.


File (sample.rb):

col do
  row do
    cpu_command =
      "top -b -n 1 | awk -F',' 'NR==3{ split($4, arr, \" \"); print 100.0 - arr[1] }'"

    histogram  title: "CPU (%)", command: cpu_command, color: "light_cyan"
    timeseries title: "CPU (%)", command: cpu_command, color: "light_cyan"
    statistics title: "CPU (%)", command: cpu_command

  row do
    memory_command = "free | awk 'NR==2 { print ($3/$2) * 100 }'"

    histogram  title: "Memory (%)", command: memory_command, color: "light_magenta"
    timeseries title: "Memory (%)", command: memory_command, color: "light_magenta"
    statistics title: "Memory (%)", command: memory_command

Run it with:

termplot -f sample.rb --cols 150 --rows 20

Result: CPU_Ram_dashboard


  • Termplot should work just fine if you have a monospaced unicode font. Tested on linux, and should work on MacOS too. Not too sure about windows.
  • On timeseries plots, samples received are plotted in sequence order, and there is no notion of temporal spacing. So even if the time between samples is inconsistent, they will be plotted with the same amount of space between them.


A while back I needed to be able to monitor the number of open TCP connections on my linux machine. I could get the data I needed from ss with some text processing but I didn't have a quick and easy way to eyeball the overall trend.

I mainly work with ruby, so taking inspiration from fantastic libraries like Unicode Plots (Julia) and Termeter (Go), I decided to build something in ruby.

Now with termplot, it's as easy as:

termplot --command 'ss -s | head -n1 | cut -d" " -f2' --interval 500 -t "TCP Connections"

TCP Connections

In the end termplot turned out to be useful for all sorts of command line visualisation tasks.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. There are some simple test commands in the Rakefile which are useful for development. To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.


A simple terminal plotting tool for visualising streaming data.







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