Sunday, 26 May 2019

Task managers for Elementary OS

A Task Manager is a system monitor utility which can track details about a process, and other system variables like RAM usage, disk usage etc. There are various task managers available for a Linux system, and in this article we are looking into my personal favourite top 3 task managers for Elementary OS. I know many of the Linux users just prefer the command line way, head to the end if you want the command line way to manage tasks in Elementary OS.

GNOME system monitor

GNOME System Monitor is a great tool to find out which processes are running and how much time, memory and space is being used. 

How to install Gnome system monitor

Open terminal and type the below command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-system-monitor

Once the installation completes, you can launch it from the Application Menu.  The processes tab lists out all the processes that are running with the user and the memory being used by that process. To kill a process, you can right click and kill it, however keep in mind this may lead to data loss and should only be used to kill the hung processes.


The resources tab displays a graphical consumption of your CPU, Memory and Swap usage along with the Network history. 



Mate System Monitor


Mate System Monitor is another system monitor tool which you can install in your Elementary OS. It allows you to view and control processes which are running on your system. You can view the memory map, kill a process and much more. The information displayed includes Device, Disk Usage, mountpoints, memory usage and process information. 

How to install Mate System Monitor

Mate System Monitor is available in AppCenter of Elementary OS. You can search and install it. If you would like to install it from the command line, open Terminal and type the below command:

sudo apt-get install mate-system-monitor


There are 4 tabs in Mate System Monitor. System displays the OS, RAM, processor and available disk space.

The Processes tab lists out all the processes currently running along with their status and the memory they are taking up. You can send a Terminate signal and kill a process from here. 


Resources option displays the CPU usage, Memory and Swap Usage and Network History in a graphical way. 


Both GNOME and Mate System monitors looks and works similar. 

Terminal Way : Top


The next task manager for Elementary OS is a terminal command top. Top command lists out the processes which are running and in which state along with their CPU usage share. In the below screenshot, you can see a total of 169 tasks running  out of which 168 are in sleep state. There is RAM data and the processes with their PID.


If you want to kill any process, you can use the PID from the first column and type the below command in terminal.

kill -9 <PID>

However, you should be very careful and know what you are doing while killing a process. By killing a wrong process, you can loose some important data and/or make your system unstable. 

Final Words


Which way you prefer to monitor your Elementary OS system? Is the graphical way or you are completely used to the terminal way, tell us in the comments.

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