How to see what is running on a slow machine - system monitor/processes


I have moved from 11.1 to 11.3 in December. The machine appears to be noticeably slower, but I can’t prove it. I have checked the recommended memory for 11.3 and it is 512 mb which I have. I also have 1 gb of swap.

I have also noticed an icon for a search service. What does this do?

I have 32-bit, KDE4. I have had a search through posts and found ‘top’, but it moves around alot, so I can’t see what is going on. Rather worryingly it says there are 3 users. I think there should only be root and me. I think I saw another user name, but it changed too quickly.

When I was running 11.3, I used a system monitor, where you could also look at the processes running, where do I find this now?

Thank you.

512 is a minimal machine 1gig is the recommended.

Search Service allows you to search for packages across all known repos.

it is normal to see 3 users logged. You once and root twice

The system monitor should be in the menu. If not you can install it via Yast.

There are many users on your system (apart from the ones installed by you, the system manager). But not all are running processes all the time. Do

cat /etc/passwd

to see all the users that are configurated.

ps -ef

to see all the processes running at that moment and the lines start with the usernames running those processes.

kde monitor is ksysguard

to see ram and swap usage use command “free”, if swap is high then you probably need more ram ore fewer processes running

In KDE you can run ksysguard anytyme by typing CTRL+ESC. Then if you click in the CPU% column it will order the process by CPU% use, so you’ll see what processes are consuming more CPU power. You can also order by the other colums, just click on them. And if you click again it will invert the order.

You may also disable desktop effects (if you are using them) with ALT+SHIFT+F12 to reduce X and plasma CPU use.

For command line I’d recommend htopinstead of top. Better interface and highlights and sorting.


Hardware requirements - openSUSE
"Main memory: At least 256 MB; 512 MB recommended "

Am I looking at the wrong specs?

Well it is true you can install a very minimum set up in 256 and 512 in theory will run KDE or Gnome GUIs the results may not be good. You really need at least 1 Gig to have, what I consider at least, a usable system. If running VM’s need 2Gig or more.

It is possible to have some process eating up CPU but top will show this.

Also it depends a a lot in which video card and driver are in use. Which are???

I have even openSUSE (well, it is 10.3) running in 128 MB. But it is a text only system. It does what I want it to do in a reasonable way.

There are desktops using less memmory/CPU like LXDE. When you want to run a heavy desktop like KDE with all bells and whistles (like desktop effects), more users loged in at the same moment (local and/or remote) and a few heavy applications, you need more. It is all openSUSE, but the usage may vary and thus the needs for more/faster hardware.

On 02/06/2011 09:36 PM, nappy501 wrote:
> ‘Hardware requirements - openSUSE’
> (

that page does NOT give the same information as other pages, like:
which clearly recommends 1 GB RAM, and lists 512 as the minimum

and yes, 11.3 KDE4 might well be slower than it was on 11.1,
especially on such a memory constrained machine…

[NNTP posted w/openSUSE 11.3, KDE4.5.5, Thunderbird3.0.11, nVidia
173.14.28 3D, Athlon 64 3000+]
“It is far easier to read, understand and follow the instructions than
to undo the problems caused by not.” DD 23 Jan 11

What about trying LXDE if KDE is too much?

[edit] oups, missed the post already suggesting it…

Just to let you know I upgraded to 11.4 using LXDE.

I like the lack of bells an whistles. It just really slows down when I open Firefox and Thunderbird. I have to use Firefox, but I will be investigating other email programs.

On 2012-05-24 19:56, nappy501 wrote:
> but I will be
> investigating other email programs.

Have a look at pine.

By the way, 1 Gb swap is too little.
Also, the search functionality slows down the machine.

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4 x86_64 “Celadon” at Telcontar)