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Old 02-05-2008, 06:13 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2006
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Linux Task Manager?

In Windows, when a program locks up and brings my system to a screeching halt, I can open the task manager (which will usually not be effected) and kill the offending process. Is there any similar program or method in Linux? I've found that when Linux gets bogged, everything's slow, including Gnome's System Monitor. Even switching to a console with ctrl+alt+F1 and finding/killing the process manually can take forever.
Old 02-05-2008, 06:19 AM   #2
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You can use the 'top' command in a terminal, options exist for sorting processes according to CPU usage, memory usage, PID number and so on. Type '?' for commands summary.
Also according to your distro / graphical manager some graphical tools exists, eg System Monitor applet under gnome.
Old 02-05-2008, 06:28 AM   #3
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Thanks, but I explicitly mentioned that System Monitor doesn't work when the system is under extreme load. And running top doesn't help you if you can't even open a terminal.
Old 02-05-2008, 06:29 AM   #4
Simon Bridge
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1. If a process is eating CPU cycles, the windows task manager is also affected.
2. This should not be happening frequently in linux, unless you are writing a lot of code yourself. If this does happen, it is a bad sign and needs to be investigated.

Remember: in Linux, the CLI is king.

A discipline is to leave at least one terminal open on one workspace - you can run kill from there without having to invoke another X login. This speeds it up considerably. It is also possible to install a quake-like terminal which drops down when you press the tilda key.

The "top" utility will display running processes more efficiently than the system monitor.
"ps -aux" will tell you enough info to do a kill, and even faster.

KDE has KTask and KSysGuard - which is supposed fill the role of Win Task Manager.

There is a Gnome panel applet which lets you kill hanging windows by clicking on them - and thus kill the process that spawned them. It's called "Force Quit". Though clicking repeatedly on the "X" will do the same thing.

Otherwise the gnome system monitor is it.
Old 02-05-2008, 06:34 AM   #5
Simon Bridge
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I see that in crafting a detailed reply, I got in late

The short answer to your question is "no".
The reason is that the situation you describe is very unusual.

Which distro are we talking about?
What is the hardware?
What are you doing to run up high CPU loads?

i.e. Running Blender in a PII will have the effect you are talking about - especially with large files. So will running animation software and/or producing DVDs.


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