Some questions about KDE Plasma's System Monitor program

This is one of the few things I liked better about XFCE. In fact, I still have the XFCE “Task Manager” installed and as a shortcut, because I can quickly bring it up, type in something like “php” in the filter field, and it simply shows the processes matching that. System Monitor has a more “heavy” interface, and while its “Processes” section does have such a filter thing, it’s more messy and appears to “hide” the full command?

I’d rather not use any non-KDE stuff if it can be helped. (Which also means I won’t have to install XFCE just for that one thing the next time I reinstall the machine.)


  1. Can the “command” column’s values be left-aligned instead of centered?
  2. The “Applications” section shows the “Name” column’s values messed-up if they use non-ANSI characters. Shouldn’t Unicode work there just like it does elsewhere in KDE-land?
  3. Is there some way to get I/O write/read columns? It almost seems (when editing the columns) like there is such a thing and that it’s enabled by default, but I cannot see any such columns in practice?
  4. Can you somehow open System Monitor going directly to a specific “tab”, such as “Processes”?

Have you discovered the “System Activity” monitor that comes up when you press Ctrl+Esc (its default shortcut)?


No, I had not, until now! But this looks really good. I’m adding it to my “quick launch” bar for sure! (Or rather, I would, if it were available as an application found in the menu. But I’ll probably find some way to add it.)

Well, the shortcut scheme did not help much (it’s just called Show System Activity=Ctrl+Esc), but maybe I can remember the Escape + Ctrl keyboard shortcut… Although I’d much prefer a clickable icon. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the binary is called, and ChatGPT claimed it was ksysguard (which is incorrect).

After sending my first reply I saw a message from Nate Graham saying that that System Activity display is going away in plasma 6 :frowning:

The old system monitor is much nicer and faster, the new one has serious font distortion in some places, plus the way to rearrange columns became more annoying and hard to do with those vertical grab and drop actions instead of horizontally moving them.

Uh-oh… Plasma 6 is starting to worry me. Hopefully it has so heavily improved System Monitor that it’s no longer needed.