Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To View and Kill Background Processes in Ubuntu

Ubuntu 5

In this guide, we will learn how to view and kill background processes in Ubuntu. This is a crucial skill for system administrators and developers who want to manage system resources effectively.

Quick Answer

To view and kill background processes in Ubuntu, you can use the terminal commands ps -ef or ps aux | less to list all running processes and their details. To kill a process, you can use the kill command followed by the process ID (PID) or use the System Monitor tool. Additionally, tools like htop and glances provide more interactive and comprehensive views of processes and system resources.

Viewing Processes

Using the Terminal

The terminal is a powerful tool for interacting with your Ubuntu system. You can use various commands to list all running processes.

ps -ef

The ps command is used to report a snapshot of the current processes. When used with the -ef option, it displays a detailed list of all processes.

ps -ef

Here, -e selects all processes and -f provides a full-format listing.

ps aux | less

To view every process in a more readable format, you can use the ps aux | less command.

ps aux | less

In this command, a lists all processes (not just those belonging to the user), u provides a user-oriented format, and x includes processes not attached to a terminal. The | less part allows you to scroll through the output.

ps -u username

To view all processes running by a specific user, you can use the ps -u username command.

ps -u username

Replace username with the actual username.

Using System Monitor

If you prefer a graphical interface, Ubuntu provides a tool called System Monitor. You can access it by searching for “System Monitor” in the application launcher. In System Monitor, you can see a list of running processes, their resource usage, and other details.

Killing Processes

Using the Terminal

kill PID

To kill a process, you can use the kill command followed by the process ID (PID). For example:

kill 1234

This will send a TERM signal to the process with PID 1234, asking it to terminate.

kill -9 PID

If the process is unresponsive, you can use kill -9 PID to forcefully terminate it.

kill -9 1234

Here, -9 sends the KILL signal, which cannot be ignored by the process.

killall processname

If you know the process name, you can use killall processname to kill all processes with that name.

killall processname

Replace processname with the actual process name.

Using System Monitor

In System Monitor, select the process and click on the “End Process” button to kill it.

Additional Tools

htop

htop is a powerful alternative to the basic top command. It provides a more interactive and detailed view of processes. You can install it by running:

sudo apt install htop

Then, launch it with:

htop

glances

Another tool you can use is glances, which provides a comprehensive overview of system resources and processes. You can install it by following the instructions on the Glances GitHub page.

Conclusion

Remember, when killing processes, be cautious as terminating essential system processes or processes that other applications depend on can cause instability or unexpected behavior. It is recommended to understand the purpose of a process before killing it. Additionally, some processes may automatically restart after being killed. With the right tools and knowledge, you can effectively manage processes in Ubuntu.

How can I view all running processes in Ubuntu?

To view all running processes in Ubuntu, you can use the ps command. For a detailed list of all processes, you can use ps -ef or ps aux | less for a more readable format.

How can I view processes running by a specific user?

To view processes running by a specific user, you can use the ps -u username command, replacing username with the actual username.

How can I kill a process in Ubuntu?

To kill a process in Ubuntu, you can use the kill command followed by the process ID (PID). For example, kill 1234 will send a TERM signal to the process with PID 1234, asking it to terminate.

What if a process is unresponsive and cannot be killed with the `kill` command?

If a process is unresponsive and cannot be killed with the kill command, you can use kill -9 PID to forcefully terminate it. The -9 option sends the KILL signal, which cannot be ignored by the process.

Can I kill all processes with a specific name?

Yes, you can kill all processes with a specific name using the killall processname command, replacing processname with the actual process name.

Is there a graphical tool to view and kill processes in Ubuntu?

Yes, Ubuntu provides a graphical tool called System Monitor, which allows you to view and kill processes. You can access it by searching for "System Monitor" in the application launcher.

Are there any additional tools I can use to manage processes in Ubuntu?

Yes, there are additional tools you can use. htop is a powerful alternative to the basic top command, providing a more interactive and detailed view of processes. glances is another tool that provides a comprehensive overview of system resources and processes. You can install both of these tools using the appropriate commands.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *