Excellent Utilities: fkill – kill processes quick and easy

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

In Operation

Starting fkill is just a matter of typing the command fkill at a shell.

fkill offers an interactive way of showing and managing the running processes. This mode is invoked fkill without arguments.

Here’s a recording of a terminal session of the interactive method in action. Purely for illustration, I’m ending the process belonging to Tauon Music Box, an excellent music player.

You can see me manually scrolling through the list, until I come to the process in question. Pressing Enter terminates the selected process.


The list shows the process ID, and where relevant the port.

There’s an even easier way to find a process in question. Just start typing the name of the process, and the software applies a filter, narrowing down the number of processes as you type.


The filtering functionality doesn’t implement fuzzy searching though. This means that no entries will show if I transpose characters of the search term, or omit a letter. That’s a shame.

There’s an alternative to the interactive method. Let’s say RStudio becomes unresponsive. I can issue the command at the shell:

$ fkill RStudio

And RStudio is terminated. Quick and easy. No need to scroll through a list of processes, even with filtering.

fkill supports process name and process ID as arguments. So if an application hangs, you don’t need to look up the relevant process ID (with a separate utility such as ps, top, gtop, ….). And it requires a little experience to interpret the output of ps/top/gtop. I’ve killed the wrong process in error occasionally. Sometimes this is because I’ve misread the process ID (PID), or it’s not actually clear what PID needs to be terminated. With fkill things are a bit simpler.

If you prefer the more traditional way of killing processes, you can still terminate a process once you’ve determined its PID. In this way, the software is functionally the same as kill.

You can also kill a port by prefixing it with a colon. Port 8080 is typically used for a personally hosted web server. If you want to kill that port, just type:

$ fkill :8080

If that port is not open, you’ll receive the error message “Couldn’t find a process with port ‘8080’”.

Next page: Page 3 – Other Features

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Other Features
Page 4 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
AES CryptEncrypt files using the Advanced Encryption Standard
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
brootNext gen tree explorer and customizable launcher
CerebroFast application launcher
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
CopyQAdvanced clipboard manager
crocSecurely transfer files and folders from the command-line
DeskreenLive streaming your desktop to a web browser
dufDisk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df
ezaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
Extension ManagerBrowse, install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
fkillKill processes quick and easy
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
horcruxFile splitter with encryption and redundancy
KoohaSimple screen recorder
KOReaderDocument viewer for a wide variety of file formats
ImagineA simple yet effective image optimization tool
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
lsdLike exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls
Mark TextSimple and elegant Markdown editor
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
notiMonitors a command or process and triggers a notification
NushellFlexible cross-platform shell with a modern feel
nvitopGPU process management for NVIDIA graphics cards
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
Oh My ZshFramework to manage your Zsh configuration
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
pastelGenerate, analyze, convert and manipulate colors
PDF Mix ToolPerform common editing operations on PDF files
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
RnoteSketch and take handwritten notes
scrcpyDisplay and control Android devices
StickySimulates the traditional “sticky note” style stationery on your desktop
tldrSimplified and community-driven man pages
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
Whoogle SearchSelf-hosted and privacy-focused metasearch engine
ZellijTerminal workspace with batteries included
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