Use Task Manager Equivalent in Linux

Task manager in Linux

These are some of the most frequently asked questions from Linux beginners: “Is there a task manager for Linux?” “How do you open the task manager on Linux?” “Where do I find the Ubuntu task manager?”

People who are coming from Windows know how useful the task manager is. You press Ctrl+Alt+Del to get to the task manager in Windows. This task manager shows you all the running processes and their memory consumption. You can choose to end a process from this task manager application.

When you’re just starting out with Linux, you may look for a task manager equivalent on Linux as well. An expert Linux user prefers the command-line way to find processes and memory consumption, etc., but you don’t have to go that way, at least not when you’re just starting out with Linux.

All the major Linux distributions have a task manager equivalent. Usually, it’s called System Monitor, but it actually depends on your Linux distribution and the desktop environment it uses.

In this article, we’ll see how to find and use the task manager on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions that use GNOME as the desktop environment.

System Monitor: The Task Manager of Linux distributions

If you’re using the GNOME desktop, press the Super key (Windows key) and look for System Monitor. In other desktop environments, search for System Monitor in the menu.

system monitor gnome
Search for System Monitor

This will start the GNOME System Monitor. It shows you all the running processes and their memory consumption.

task manager in Linux
Check the running processes

You can select a process and click on End process to kill it. You can also select multiple entries here and kill the processes in one click.

Kill process in fedora
End a process

You can also see some statistics about your system in the Resources tab, such as CPU consumption per core basis, memory usage, network usage, etc.

system monitor fedora
Monitor resource consumption

You can watch this video to see it in action:

There are more ways to manage tasks

That was the graphical way. If you want to go the command line way, just run the top command in terminal and you can see all the running processes and their memory consumption. You can easily kill processes in the Linux command line.

If you want a command-line based task manager on Linux, I recommend using htop. You can see running processes, memory usage, and more, and you can easily use hotkeys to end processes. And it looks good as well.

htop running in Linux terminal

This is all you need to know about task manager equivalents on Linux. I hope you found this quick tutorial helpful. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to comment.

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  • I am using Ubuntu server no GUI in a VM on a Mac with a Mac keyboard. The F keys do not map to be the F keys inside the VM in Parallels. Any idea how to do this? I know this is a niche case, thought I’d ask. Thanks for the tip about htop!!!

  • Very informative but the article not mention how to open the system monitor with a combination of keys as in Windows. Usually one wants to open the system monitor in order to kill an application that occupies the entire screen, lets say like a game.