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Sometimes a flash plugin starts using all the mem and CPU or an app is also behaving "naughtily" and my system starts to crawl until i finally get a terminal with htop up and kill the rogue process, but having to wait 2 or 3 minutes until the terminal opens.

Is there a way to have a responsive, second console with a separate assignation of memory and cpu resources to quickly open it up to kill process that affect the rest of my system?

  • This doesn't answer your question, by I suspect Flash is only able to cripple your system like it does because it eats enough memory to cause your system to start swapping. If you can get away with it, turn off the swap and let the Out-of-Memory killer do its job while your system is still responsive. Barring that, buy an SSD if you haven't already. – wingedsubmariner Mar 31 '14 at 4:18
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I generally switch to another virtual console. I'm using Fedora 19 so Ctrl+Alt+F1 would be the primary one you're using now to display X.

So I'll often times switch to Ctrl+Alt+F2 where I can either maintain a logged in console, or I can quickly login to there and run the necessary kill commands to halt whatever process is going wild.

Other distros make use of the consoles in slightly different ways but the same approach can be used within them as well.

You could probably also construct a generic form of a pkill ... command and then associate it to a keyboard shortcut so that you can fire it off when needed and save on having to gain access to a shell just to accomplish this task.

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