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  #1  
Old 16th May 2012, 04:04 PM
tashirosgt Offline
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Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

I haven't used MS Windows and years, but as I recall, the Task Manger program that was used to combat system freezes and hangs was sorely needed and worked pretty well. Having experienced various levels of feezes on 3 systems (each with different hardware) using FC 16-64 XFCE spin, I'm beginning to wish that Fedora had a Task Manager too.

I don't know how the Task Manager program works, but I suspect it must be extremely inefficient for a OS to run such a monitoring program. It could be argued that one can use ctrl-alt-F2 and the console in Fedora to do everything the Task Manager program does. However, I'd like to hear the details of that argument! I've tried to diagnose problems from the console using top, ps -ef, looking at log files. I didn't find those methods effective. On earlier Fedoras under Gnome, the desktop sometimes popped up a window about a program "not responding". It would be interesting to know how this diagnosis is was reached. What tool can I use to monitor the "response" of a process?
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  #2  
Old 16th May 2012, 04:32 PM
aleph Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

The "not responding" may be a GTK feature not specific to GNOME. Programs under XFCE may trigger it as well. I'm not sure about the details.

For me the command-line tools work effectively enough. In addition you get all the bells and whistles typical of Unix-like system admin tools. When the system is under high load the CLI tools are likely to be superior to GUI tools as they require less memory, not just for themselves but also the whole graphical environment.

If the system hangs because a few processes are hogging the CPU, isn't it easy to spot the culprits and kill them using top?
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  #3  
Old 16th May 2012, 05:56 PM
Dan Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

In Gnome 3/Gnome Shell (F16):

Select - System Monitor (See attached illustration)

Select - Processes tab (See second attached illustration)

If a process has gone zombie, it will say as much in the status column of the list.


From the command line: (If you happen to have a terminal open.)

Code:
[dan@****** Desktop]$ su -
Password: (input root password here)
[root@****** ~]# gnome-system-monitor
That will give you a listing of all running tasks. (As opposed to just those available to the user account.) Then you can right-click any process in the list (Use discretion here. Other things may, and probably will, get broken.) and either stop it or kill it via the pop-up menu.
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  #4  
Old 16th May 2012, 06:50 PM
Gareth Jones Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
I'm beginning to wish that Fedora had a Task Manager too.
As Dan mentioned, the GNOME equivalent is called System Monitor. The other major desktop environments almost certainly have equivalent programs, and top is the closest all-in-one interactive terminal equivalent.

If you go to System Settings->Keyboard->Shortcuts->Custom, you can add a short-cut to start gnome-system-monitor when Ctrl+Esc is pressed (for example).

There is also xkill, which lets you click on a non-responsive window to force the parent process to terminate. You could set up a keyboard short-cut the same way, or install the "Force Quit" shell extension, which I think adds a launcher for xkill to the top-bar: https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/102/force-quit/.

Quote:
I don't know how the Task Manager program works, but I suspect it must be extremely inefficient for a OS to run such a monitoring program.
In Linux, most of the work is monitoring, processing, and presenting the files under /proc/.

Quote:
On earlier Fedoras under Gnome, the desktop sometimes popped up a window about a program "not responding". It would be interesting to know how this diagnosis is was reached. What tool can I use to monitor the "response" of a process?
That's a window-manager trick. As I understand it, the window manager (GNOME Shell/Mutter these days, Metacity or Compiz in GNOME 2) sends periodic "ping" messages to a window and checks if the window responds. It it stops responding within a certain time-out, or ignores a close-button click without responding, it is deemed unresponsive. Some window managers grey the window to indicate this, and/or pop up a message window if the user clicked close, offering to force the quit (similar to xkill).
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  #5  
Old 16th May 2012, 07:43 PM
tashirosgt Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

I'll try gnome-system-monitor if it will run in the XFCE desktop.

In response to whether I should find "top" useful, I have never found it useful in diagnosing freezes and hangs. I don't recall any problem on my systems that was caused by one process hogging the cpu - at least top never showed one process behaving that way. Like aleph, I prefer command line tools since the graphical desktop may be the thing that is frozen.
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  #6  
Old 16th May 2012, 08:27 PM
Fenrin Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

the default task manager in the xfce desktop is xfce4-taskmanger. It is more leightweight than gnome-system-monitor and has less features. I use gnome 3 usually, but as taskmanger I prefer xfce4-taskmanager instead of gnome-system-monitor.
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  #7  
Old 16th May 2012, 09:28 PM
RupertPupkin Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

Bah, I use my own "Task Manager" that I wrote myself in Tcl/Tk (only 95 lines of code):
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  #8  
Old 16th May 2012, 10:33 PM
Gareth Jones Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RupertPupkin View Post
Bah, I use my own "Task Manager" that I wrote myself in Tcl/Tk (only 95 lines of code):
Bah. Real men use psDooM.
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  #9  
Old 17th May 2012, 05:45 AM
aleph Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

Real men just drink another glass and killall -u [his own login].
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  #10  
Old 17th May 2012, 12:39 PM
sea Online
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

There is also: sudo pkill APPNAME, wich works quite smooth
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  #11  
Old 17th May 2012, 01:03 PM
ah7013 Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

I use KSysGuard, the KDE task manager, which has plenty of features. It can give you detailed memoey information about each process which I like quite a lot. I don't know what package it is in since I don't use Fedora anymore but a simple yum provides */ksysguard should tell you.
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  #12  
Old 17th May 2012, 02:18 PM
stevea Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
I don't know how the Task Manager program works, but I suspect it must be extremely inefficient for a OS to run such a monitoring program.
It shouldn't be. The tool is just pulling & displaying info from the kernel and that info is kept by the anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tashirosgt View Post
I'll try gnome-system-monitor if it will run in the XFCE desktop.
It does, but there is an xfce tool called 'xfce4-taskmanager' and an lxde tool called 'lxtask'. These ar both roughly equivalent to the gnome tool.


Quote:
In response to whether I should find "top" useful, I have never found it useful in diagnosing freezes and hangs. I don't recall any problem on my systems that was caused by one process hogging the cpu - at least top never showed one process behaving that way. Like aleph, I prefer command line tools since the graphical desktop may be the thing that is frozen.
You can use top to sort by other parameters then CPU%. You could select process owned by your userid, and then reverse sort of process status. Find zombies that way. Still that is awkward. "htop" is a lot better.
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  #13  
Old 17th May 2012, 04:28 PM
Gareth Jones Offline
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Re: Does Fedora need a Task Manager?

(Just thought I should point out that "zombie" has a specific meaning in process lists, and doesn't mean that the process has crashed or hung, and no process manager can kill a zombie anyway. A zombie is just a PID (using no other resources) that exited and hasn't had its exit status collected by its parent process yet. If the parent doesn't collect the exit status, that can indicate a bug in the parent, but init should adopt and reap the zombie process when it is orphaned by the parent exiting.)
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