How To: Launch “Task Manager” in Linux using Ctrl+Alt+Del

If you have only recently migrated from Windows to Linux, then you probably are still in the habit of launching Task Manager in order to close rogue programs which misbehaves. Although, even if you don’t find yourself belong into that category, the following still might be of great use for you, so check it out.

Updated Mar 25, 2015How To's
task manager vs system monitor

Different naming

On Windows platform, you can easily invoke Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys, all at the same time, however on Linux, on the other hand, this is not quite the case. Also, it might be a bit difficult to launch “Task Manager” if you don’t even know what’s it called, right?!

Funny enough, some Linux desktop environments have all kinds of weird names for it, on KDE it’s – KDE System Guard (KSysguard), for GNOME users it’s known as – Gnome System Monitor, so depends on which D.E. you are using, you’ll need to launch different kinds of apps for that matter.

[ This specific ‘How To’ is going to concentrate mainly on Gnome based environments such as, Gnome Shell and Unity (Ubuntu), but the same is applicable for any Linux distro, you’ll just need to change the name of the app you’re invoking. ]

Create a shortcut

system-monitor shortcut

Start by going inside Settings (through the top panel’s menu) > Keyboard > Shortcuts tab > on the bottom of the right pane press the + button. Now you’ll be prompted to enter a name and command, choose whatever name you feel like, just make sure it will be easy for you to recognize and remember (for comfort sake).

For the ‘Command:’ field, type: gnome-system-monitor including the dashes in between > press Apply, almost done, click on the line where you see your new shortcut (where it says New accelerator…) and press the key string you wish to use for invoking “Task Manager”. Note that the button string you choose might had already been taken, so it’s up to you whether to use it or choose another one.

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Angry Grizzly Aug '15
Neither command worked for me I'm new to Linux mint, it was installed on a laptop that I got in exchange for a windows XP laptop thus I did not install the os or set up the administration of it. Basically I was "handed" this laptop by a third party and was told "good luck" and I need a brief tutorial as to how to administer the OS
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Liron Aug '15 Angry Grizzly
Hi @angrygrizzly:disqus , there can be many reasons for why this didn't work for you on Linux Mint, one of them being - you may have a different tool installed on your laptop than gnome-system-monitor for example. Try to remember that there's a learning curve for everything new that you do and try not to get discourage for not succeeding in your first trial...
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Oº°‘¨Chisa¨‘°ºO pic Nov '14
Thanks for this tutorial

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