How To View And Manage Linux Processes

You can easily list and manage your Linux processes with a graphical task manager or a console application.

Sometimes it is worth knowing which programs are active on your Linux system. For example, you can filter out a particularly memory-guzzling program or an application that makes your processor glow and then terminates it. There are graphical solutions and command-line tools to list the running processes.

  • Task manager with graphical user interface
  • Task manager in the console

Task manager with graphical user interface

Most Linux distributions already offer you a pre-installed task manager if you are a fan of graphical interfaces. Different Linux systems, unfortunately, also have other tools supplied with them to monitor the system status. The programs are easy to use and are very reminiscent of the well-known Windows Task Manager. We will show you the process using an Ubuntu system as an example:

Start the system monitor

Open the start menu of your operating system. Most distributions have the start menu at the top or bottom left of the screen. Then look for the appropriate tool for your Linux system there. The German version of Ubuntu is called ” System Monitoring “. The program can also be called ” Task Manager “, ” System Monitor “, or something similar with other distributions. You may have to do a little research.

The process list

This or a similar window will now greet you. Here you will find a list of all running processes and their resource usage. You can also see which user started the operations. Often the processes can also be sorted according to the various categories. If you, for example, on the ” % CPU click”, you get a sort of processes by CPU usage. In this way, particularly resource-consuming processes can be easily identified. You can also search for specific functions with a click on the magnifying glass.

End a process

You can also call up the context menu for a process with a right-click. Here you will usually be given the option to end the selected process. Please note, however, that data can be lost if a process is forcibly terminated. Therefore, system applications should not necessarily be shut down. But even that is not too dangerous because the operating system usually restarts the system processes.

Also Read: How To Install Linux Alongside Windows?

Task manager in the console

The traditional tool top is installed on most Linux systems for process management in the console. The newer alternative htop often replaces the somewhat dusty tool. In this tutorial, we will show you how to use htop.

If the htop is not yet installed on your operating system, you can download it using the package manager. For example, on Debian systems, you would use:

sudo apt install htop

start htop

Now just start the program with the command ” htop “. A colourful, text-based Task Manager should greet you in the console window. At first glance, htop might seem a little overwhelming, but it is pretty intuitive to use. At the bottom of the console window is a list of the essential key assignments. With [F1], you can, for example, call up the help menu, in which you (who would have thought it) can find even more key combinations and a legend for some of the displays. With [F2], you can open the options and configure the tool according to your preferences.

How to navigate and sort

You can navigate the process list with the arrow keys or the mouse. As in a graphical application, you can also sort the entries here according to different categories. To do this, press [F6] and select a category in the menu on the left. Confirm with Enter. The list is then sorted according to your selection.

search and filter

With [F3] and [F4], you can search or filter the processes according to their names. To do this, simply press the respective key and enter the search or filter term . When filtering, only methods are displayed in whose names the search term appears. When searching, the first search result is displayed, and you can show further results by repeatedly pressing [F3].

End a process

To end a process, simply select it with the mouse or your arrow keys. Then press [F9] . A list of possible termination signals appears on the left , which you can send to the process. The standard setting ” sigerm ” is completely sufficient. However, if you want to test certain termination signals on your own programs, for example, these are also available to you.

End multiple processes at the same time

htop also gives you the option to kill multiple processes at the same time. To do this, you can mark the functions with the space bar. The marked processes are highlighted in colour. If you now press [F9], you can force all significant processes to abort.

Also Read: An Overview Of Linux Operating Systems

Recent Articles

Related Stories