Spring break for the KDE system monitor

KSysGuard underperformes in both visual as well as functional respect. Unfortunately it is not actively maintained yet so we are looking for developers first before starting with ideas about the redesign.

Recently there was a request on the forums to update KSysGuard. The dialog looks outdated and not appealing, from the user perspective. From the usability POV there are several flaws too. First of all the dialog does not fit the HIG for simple command pattern. But even with some visual updates it might not fit the requirements.

Figure 1: CPU history as shown by the current tool.

Figure 1: CPU history as shown by the current tool.

Briefly looked into the topic the requirements might be:

  • browse through the list of processes to get an impression what’s running
  • find processes that gone wild or rather bottlenecks that leads to unexpected behavior (e.g. slowed down system)
  • send signals to process (esp. SIGKILL) to stop misbehavior
  • show the history of activity with at least CPU, RAM, I/O etc. to understand the system’s state

Nice to have would be also

  • UI that is simple but powerful
  • have a good integration with the plasmoid (which has also room for improvements)
  • combination with more stats, e.g from powerdevil

The competitors have found interesting solutions. For instance, top makes it easy to see what currently happens by vertical bars for each CPU instead of overlapping lines (consider that more than two or 2+2 CPUs is quite common).

But before going into detail I’d like to find developers who give some love to KSysGuard since it’s not actively maintained. Please let it have its own spring break!