System Monitor: The Task Manager in Linux

Many Windows users who are coming to Linux search for the task manager application. The task manager is a very useful application using which you can see running processes, CPU usage, and memory information. From its interface, you can terminate any process immediately by clicking on “End Task”.

Probably there are no such applications with the name of the task manager but Linux provides an equivalent application that performs the same task. The system monitor is such an application you can find on most of the distributions.

In this article, I will discuss system monitor in detail and other ways to manage or monitor system resources on a Linux system.

Launch System monitor in Linux

The system monitor is a process viewer with an attractive, easy-to-use interface. It has features such as a tree view for process dependencies, the icon for processes, CPU/memory/swap usage information, It also has the ability to kill/renice processes with root permission.

To launch system monitor in Linux go to the menu and then search system monitor and click on the icon when it appears.

The following image shows the system monitor in Ubuntu.

The system monitor application’s interface will look something like given in the image below. There are three tabs i.e. Processes, Resources, File Systems.

Processes tab

This tab show processes running on your system with some other information such as %CPU usage, Memory usage, Disk read, Disk write, etc. You can select single or multiple processes by holding the ctrl button and click on End task to end process(s) immediately.

Resources tab

The second tab on the system monitor’s interface is resources which show CPU usage, Memory and Swap usage, Network history. You can see this information in the given image.

File Systems tab

This shows the information of the usage of drives on your system. The information can be very useful while managing disk space on a system.

Other ways to monitor tasks in Linux

You can install some other applications such as KSysGuard, LXTask, Xfce 4 Task manager, etc to monitor tasks on a Linux system. In your terminal, you can use the top and htop commands to monitor running processes and other resources of a system.

You can see the usage of htop command in the given image.

You can also read top command usage in Linux.


Now I hope you have the basic understanding of how to manage task in Linux using system monitor, htop, top etc.

If you have a query then write us in the comments below.

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