CTRL+Shift+ESC... END TASK END TASK END TASK............ Seem familiar? Yeah, Windows.
Thankfully, it's pretty rare (at least in my experience) that GNU/Linux suffers from applications freezing or hanging. However, it does happen! But besides freezes and hangs, there are other needs for process management in GNU/Linux, and most beginners do not have a clue on how to do it!
In a previous article I described using the ps command to list processes and how to kill them, but that's a hassle. Thankfully, most desktop environments come with their own process manager; and the ones that don't can make use of others.
This article will focus on the KDE and GNOME based task managers, since they are the most popular environments (Cinnamon is included in this, since its a fork of GNOME Shell.) I'll also touch on a Command-Line tool for people to use who might prefer it.
GNOME/Cinnamon have a tool called "System Monitor," this tool allows you to view all sorts of information about your system, such as the CPU usage, memory usage, network usage, as well as information on the file systems on the drive.
There also and more to the topic, is the Processes tab. Anyone who has ever used Windows Task Manager knows how this works. Users have the option of ending processes or if need be, killing them which will absolutely force closure regardless of the reprocussions.
KDE has a similar application called KSysguard. There are two tabs, "System Load" and "Processes" which show the information you'd expect. Once again, users have the ability to end processes via right click and selecting "End", or you can simply press the "Del" key after selecting a process.
A very popular tool that can be used regardless of environment is "Htop." Htop is a commandline tool that can be easily installed from most distribution repositories, and launched via the command "htop" from a terminal.
Once running, Htop is surprisingly easy to use; and can be used entirely with the mouse. Simply clicking the task you want to kill, and then clicking "Kill" at the bottom of the screen, before selecting which way you want to kill the process. Typically when people think of killing, they refer to the command kill -9 which is absolute, and will end the process immediately. So, after clicking the kill button, you will be presented with a list of choices on the left side of the screen. Simply click #9, and it will be taken care of!
There are multiple ways to manage processes in GNU/Linux, these are just a few of the options, but all are simple to use and easy to get done what you need. For even easier usage, I recommend setting a keybind to launch the appropriate application, such as....CTRL+ALT+DEL or perhaps CTRL+ALT+ESC.
Now you: How do you manage your processes? Do you use an alternative than the few listed here? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.