Keeping any computer system running can be some work. It would be nice if we never had to do any type of maintenance or troubleshooting, but no operating system has reached that point. Many desktop Linux users have server administration experience and are quite comfortable dropping to the command line and tinkering with their system. Not only do they know how to do this, it is the method that makes them comfortable.
For those users who use a desktop operating system and expect a graphical experience, opening a terminal window is not a normal thing to do. That does not mean they are incapable of learning it. They are just more comfortable with a visual interface.
There are many control panel tools and settings dialogs in KDE that make it easier for graphical-minded users to get things done. Here are five stand-alone applications that will help you stay informed about your computer’s status and health.
It is just what it says. It provides users with information about their systems. There are categories for graphics cards, PCI devices, memory, CPU, and many others. If you are ever unsure about what devices you have or what system settings you currently have, KInfoCenter is a good place to start.
This is a very useful tool for those of us who manage to fill up our hard drives rather quickly. You can monitor disk usage on both fixed drives and currently connected removable ones.
3. KDE Partition Manager
Need to format a drive, resize a partition, or create a swap partition? KDE Partition Manager can do it all. It depends on the trusted disk “Parted” libraries, so users can know they are getting reliable results
Linux documents every major occurrence on your system. You just have to know where to look for that documentation. For convenience, KSystemLog will collect that information for you and display it in a window, all with the click of a button. KSystemLog monitors your log files, updating them periodically. It currently supports system log, kernel log, authentication log, daemons’ logs, CUPS (printer) log, X.org log, and others.
KDE 4 includes a handy little task manager that you can access by pressing Control+Escape or by clicking the button on Krunner. For those of us who used KDE 3, however, we need something a little more robust. Ksysguard monitors processes, provides stats, and includes graphs, updated in real time. Processes and programs can be monitored, filtered, and killed, when necessary. As with previous versions, users can add new tabs, placing customized sensors on each tab. Sensors include CPU cores, uptime, partition usage, log files, memory, and much more.
There are many others tools that can make your Linux experience easier. If you have a favorite, feel free to post it in the comments. For me, after having worked as a Linux system admin for many years, I still occasionally love to open up Konsole and hack away the command line.
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