How to Locate and Kill Processes in Linux
Running any system comes with all sorts of unintended consensuses like encoutering unresponsive apps, frozen process and much more. Today we are going to take a look at how we can mitigate that when running Linux. The operating system comes with a hand full of command-line tools that makes this real simple.
On top of that, most Linux desktop environment provide GUI applications that can be used if you are not familiar with the command-line. However, this tutorial will focus solely on how to kill running and unresponsive Linux process using the terminal.
1. View and Locate Running Processes
First of all you need to understand what process is causing issues and also what
PID it uses.
A great command-line tool for viewing process on Linux is
top. The command allows you to monitor processes and system resource usage on your Linux machine. It is one of the most useful tools in the sysadmin’s toolbox, and it comes pre-installed on every Linux distribution. It's perfect for server administrators that want to monitor RAM and CPU usage, inspect tasks, and view system uptime and user sessions, all in real-time.
top - 12:05:23 up 8:37, 1 user, load average: 0.38, 0.61, 0.89 Tasks: 477 total, 1 running, 476 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie %Cpu(s): 0.6 us, 0.6 sy, 0.0 ni, 98.8 id, 0.0 wa, 0.0 hi, 0.0 si, 0.0 st MiB Mem : 15424.1 total, 4643.7 free, 5416.7 used, 5363.7 buff/cache MiB Swap: 8192.0 total, 8180.5 free, 11.5 used. 9672.8 avail Mem PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND 2504 username 20 0 7368784 338016 145100 S 8.3 2.1 62:40.57 gnome-shell 19759 username 20 0 837020 105020 14500 S 4.6 0.7 19:10.31 python 17455 username 20 0 853404 65156 47340 S 3.0 0.4 0:57.94 gnome-terminal ...
Unlike other commands such as
top is fully interactive, and updates process in real-time. Which makes it a favorite of many Linux users and Sysadmins.
You can locate an unresponsive utilizing command line tools like
2. Kill Running or Unresponsive Process
As we can see from the output of the
top command, each process has a
COMMAND (name). To quit or kill a running or unresponsive process we will make use of them.
Kill a Process using PID
Once you’ve determined the PID of the process you wish to end, you can simply specify it as an argument with the
kill command. As per the example above, the process "python" has a PID of 19759. To kill this running process we can utilize the
The "python" process with a pid of "19759" is no longer running.
You can also use the
ps -e | grep 19759
Kill a Process using its Name
You can also kill a process by using its name with
pkill command. In many cases this might be faster and easier to utilize.
The process with the name "python" is no longer running. You can verify this by running
top once again or simply verify from the list if you got it up and running.