I know that this may sound like a stupid question, but for the sake of curiosity, would it be safe to kill the gnome-system-monitor process from inside the system monitor program?

I've asked this because today I opened up the gnome-system-monitor program and saw the gnome-system-monitor process listed under the "processes" tab, and of course the system monitor program also allows you to end and / or kill processes, so I was wondering if you killed the gnome-system-monitor from inside the system monitor program what would happen?

I did not test this in fear that something might go wrong, but if something did go wrong, how bad would it be?
Would we be dealing with a complete system failure or just a simple crash?

2 Answers 2


It's safe to do. The only thing that happens is that the program disappears from the screen because it's no longer running. You can easily start it again if you want to.

To address a likely concern, the system monitor isn't part of the operating system. It merely asks the operating system for information about running processes so that it can display them. It can also ask the operating system to do things to processes like killing them and so on.

Because it's not part of the operating system, no other programs are relying on it, and so it has no effects on other running processes when it's killed. Since it's a non-system process, it's just like killing any other non-system process.


Absolutely no issue, like @Chai said. The system monitor isn't actually actively doing anything when killing tasks; it just sends the task the sigterm or sigkill signal and returns to its normal job. So in the case you gave illustration of:

  1. System monitor is running (PID 19735 for illustration's sake)
  2. System monitor receives signal to kill PID 19735 (from mouse)
  3. System monitor sends term signal to PID 19735
  4. System monitor receives term signal
  5. System monitor dies

That's it! Nothing dangerous in it.

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