Ubuntu Task Manager

It’s a prevalent mystery among the Ubuntu/Linux learner. “Do Ubuntu have a task manager?” If yes, “How do we open its task manager?” or “Where do we locate the Ubuntu’s task manager?” This article demonstrates how to install/uninstall and drive the Ubuntu task manager both through the command line and the Ubuntu GUI (graphical user interface).

The task manager will display the number of tasks or applications running on the system and it will also help to schedule the tasks in priorities. It shows the amount of space occupied by memory, CPU, I\O and disk.

Those who are Windows users, well known how useful Task Manager is. They simply press “Ctrl + Alt + Del” keys to pop-up the task manager in Windows. However, this shortcut key, by default, will send you to the log-out dialog on Ubuntu OS. The task manager reveals all the active processes with their RAM eating. They can prefer to terminate a process from the task manager utility.

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What is Ubuntu Task Manager?

Ubuntu Task Manager

Task Manager is so-called “System monitor” already inbuilt in Ubuntu. It has the power to monitor or revoke any running processes or applications in your Ubuntu/Linux OS.

Assign Ctrl + Alt + Del for Ubuntu

If you wish, you can modify the settings of the key by the following simple steps:

  1. Form the System Settings->Open Keyboard utility.
  2. Click the + icon to attach a shortcut to do this go to Shortcuts tab -> Custom Shortcuts
  3. Type:
    •  Name: Task Manager 
    • Command: gnome-system-monitor
  4. Next, click on “Disable” and press “Ctrl+Alt+Delete.”
  5. Dialog box open with statement “The shortcut key … is already used for Log Out” now click Reassign.

Now the shortcut Key “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” will open gnome systemmonitor.

Common Task Managers on different OS:

Task ManagerOperating System
Activity Monitor Mac Os
thop, top, ps Unix shell
Tasklist Dos
Task Manager Windows
nmon Linux and AIX
Conky X Windows System
KDE system guard KDE
System monitorUbuntu

Task Manager in Windows:

Windows Task Manager
Windows Task Manager

How to open Task manager:

Right-click on an empty area of the taskbar and select Task Manager. Another way is to press Ctrl-Shift-Esc on the keyboard to open the Task Manager.

Features of Task Manager:

We observe following tabs on Task Manager window :

tabs on Task Manager window
tabs on Task Manager window

Applications tab will showcase the number of programs or tasks running on the system. It has three options which modify the status of the applications. It will be shown in below window 10 version.

End task:

End task is helpful to end the tasks which are struck or not responding to the input commands. Once the task is ended, there is a chance to lose unsaved information.

Switch To:

Switch To will prioritise the tasks. To run a specific program in topmost priority we can select the Switch To option.( older version Windows)

New Task:

This will start up a new task and is similar to run command.


Processes tab will contain the program instances. It is the most important part of the task manager where you can find which Processes are runninfg in the backgroud. Even though, if you are an experienced person then you you can caught easily who is spying you, or your system has a virus.

End Process:

End Process will shut down the instance of a program. To end a process go through the below points:

  • Go to the Applications tab (for lower version) Processes tab (for higher version) and choose a specific application/process, such that its corresponding instance can be highlighted in the processes tab.
  • Now, the user can view the highlighted instance in the processes tab.
  • If the user wants to end the instance, then click on the End Process or right click on the process, you will find end task option/button to stop the instance.
End Process or end task  in task manager

Services are the support programs which run in background.

  • To start a service, give a right-click on stopped service and select the option Start Service.
  • To stop a service, give a right-click on running service and select the option Stop Service.

The performance tab exhibits the statistical representation of threads, handles and processes. See more about it in What Processor do I have?

Networking or Ethernet
Networking or Ethernet

The networking tab shows the graphical presentation of network utilization and number of networks connected to the system.(Below Windows 10). In higher version you will find it in the performance section named as Ethernet.


Users tab will show the number of users active on the session.

  • Select the user and click on LogOff, this will end the user session.
  • By clicking on Disconnect, the user session remains in memory and will pop up again after the user logs in.

See also: Spacedesk


Nowadays everyone knows, Ubuntu is an absolutely free and open-source operating system. For every 6 months, Ubuntu releases an updated version and the long-term support releases will happen after every two years. The latest long term support version is 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver on 26 April 2018. It is considered to be the best OS for beginners. It can be installed on desktop, server and core. Ubuntu is also applied as an operating system for cloud computing. You have already seen what is Ubuntu Task Manager

Below are the Ubuntu variants apart from the regular edition:

  • Ubuntu Server Edition
  • Ubuntu Studio
  • Edubuntu
  • Kubuntu
  • Xubuntu

Features of Ubuntu:

  • Ubuntu is free of cost. The only investment is in time taken to install the OS. We can install from the internet and one can bring the old or low performing system to life with the help of Ubuntu. We can troubleshoot the software using Linux environment. It has its own library suite unlike Microsoft, where we need to purchase the MS office tools.
  • Ubuntu is more private and secure, wherein there is no involvement of third party solution. Hacking and other virus attacks are less here.
  • Ubuntu provides loads of free apps like: Spotify, Skype, VLC, Firefox, Slack, Atom, Pycharm, Telegram etc.
  • Ubuntu is a user friendly operating system.
  • User can easily access various content management systems like WordPress, Laravel, Magneto etc in Ubuntu.
  • User can build internet of things by using Ubuntu.
  • Attack of malware is minimal in Ubuntu. So, investment on Anti-Virus software is reduced.
  • Ubuntu has a layer of program called WINE which is used in running Windows based games and applications. We can install many games because it is an open source.
  • Booting happens faster in Ubuntu when compared to Windows.
  • OS updates are free.

Ubuntu Task Manager

Like in Windows, users can create, resume, stop and manage the load of the processes by using built in tool called Gnome System Monitor. By default, this comes along with Ubuntu. Gossipfunda explains here how to install/uninstall and launch the Ubuntu task manager both through the command line and the Ubuntu graphical user interface.

Installation of Gnome System Monitor using command line:

Open your Ubuntu console, by using the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut. Enter the command $ sudo apt-get update to obtain the list of available packages. This command will allow the user to connect with the internet, through which the system is updated with the latest software version of Ubuntu.

command $ sudo apt-get update

Now the system will request the user for password because solely the authorized user can update, delete or configure the software.

$ sudo apt-get update install gnome-system-monitor

is the command to install the Gnome System Monitor.

 command to install the Gnome System Monitor.

The system prompts for YES / NO to continue the installation. If the user hits Y, then the installation process will commence.

Uninstall the System Manager:

  • We can uninstall the System Manager by using the following command:
$ sudo apt-get remove gnome-system-monitor
  • This will also allow the user to make a choice of yes or no while uninstalling the program.

Launching the System Monitor using command line on UI:

  • The launch of the System Monitor on UI is triggered by following command: $ gnome-system-monitor. With the help of Ctrl+C and by typing Exit we can close the application.

Installation of Gnome System Monitor using UI:

  • If the user finds the process tedious to install System monitor using command line options, click on the Ubuntu desktop Activities toolbar and click the Ubuntu Software icon.
  • Type System Monitor or Task Manager at the search bar. After that the searches outcomes will reveal you the GNOME System Monitor in the entries list.
System Monitor or Task Manager at the search bar.
  • After clicking on the GNOME System Monitor entry, following dialogue box pops up on the screen.
gnome-system-monitor pop up
  • The above dialogue box has options like Launch, Remove and Permissions. Launch will proceed to installation and Remove will stop the launch.

Uninstall the GNOME System Monitor:

User can uninstall the software by clicking on the option Remove. Then an authentication dialogue box appears on the screen asking for the password of an authorised user. After giving the details, the uninstall process will start.

How to use GNOME System Monitor:

  • Both Windows and Ubuntu uses Ctrl+Alt+Del ( by trick shown in starting ) shortcut to bring up the task manager on the screen.
How to use GNOME System Monitor

We can see the following three tabs in the task manager of Ubuntu:

  1. Processes
  2. Resources
  3. File systems


Processes tab will display the Process Name, User, use of CPU, Process ID, consumption of memory and priority of each process. If user gives a right click on a particular process, a menu will display with the below options:

  • Viewing the detailed property of a process.
  • Observing its memory maps.
  • Open used files
  • Change priority
  • Stop the process
  • Continue a stopped process
  • End a process
  • Kill a process
Processes in ubantu


Resources on Ubuntu task manager
  • Resources tab will monitor the performance and checks the load on the system by calculating the number of running processes.

File Systems:

This tab showcases the following information:

  • Device Name
  • Directory
  • Type
  • Total Size
  • Available Memory
  • Used Memory


Most of the users have a false impression that Ubuntu is developed for coding. Although the genuine fact is, Ubuntu is a wonderful desktop operating system and can be practised by any common user. So we thought that you have got all the idea related to the Ubuntu Task Manager.