March 11, 2019

Nvidia Users On KDE Plasma Can Use A New Tab In KSysGuard To Monitor Key Metrics

Tweet announcing - An Nvidia Sensor For KDE Plasma

Recently, Twitter user maidis sent out a Tweet about the availability of an add-on for KDE's excellent KSysGuard system process and load monitor. The add-on is specifically for those running NVIDIA graphics cards, and allows the user to monitor a few key variables regarding the performance and load currently being put on their NVIDIA GPU.

Specifically, the aptly and simply titled '' adds a new tab to KSysGuard's main window once imported and activated. Within the tab one can find the following key metrics shown in graph form:

  • gpu_temp: Running temperature
  • gpu_graphics: Overall GPU utilization (in terms of %)
  • gpu_memory: Overall video memory in use
  • gpu_video_engine: GPU-based video encoding, if available and in use

NVIDIA GPU Sensor Running In KSysGuard In KDE
KDE's KSysGuard showing the ""
NVIDIA temperature and utilization graphs, once
installed and properly working



Installation requires two different scripts from from the author on GitHub to get working. The first is the main "" script, and the second is an additional script that has the template for the tab that will appear in KSysGuard. Don't worry, full instructions are on the project author's GitHub page. Just look in the code, near the top, for the '# Usage' section and follow the directions.

Final Thoughts

It would seem that something like this would be a good candidate for inclusion in the KDE Store, so that one could simply download the scripts via the store, or optionally use KSysGuard's built-in add-on installer.

Although there are many ways to monitor your rig's GPU temperatures and usage, most are command line tools (e.g. sensors), or are GUI front-ends for such tools. There are also Plasmoids that provide some of the same information, although at a very basic level, and only show temperature.

KDE Thermal Monitor Plasmoid / Widget
Some monitors out there for KDE Plasma
only provide temperature information, such
as this very simple Thermal Monitor Plasmoid

Others are more generic in nature, and not specific to NVIDIA cards being used by KDE Plasma users. If you fall into this latter category, this might just be what you're looking for.

The only thing missing that you might want to have (and that our Windows counterparts can have) is per-process cycle usage breakdown, instead of just having an aggregate number. My understanding is that this is still a a limit to the Linux drivers, and not some feature that has been simply forgotten is these types of add-ons. Still, it would be nice to have this more detailed view available.

Once again, thanks to Twitter user maidis for helping me write this up and answering some questions I had in putting this together. In full disclosure, I am more Team Red these days, and have not ran an NVIDIA card for a few years now, so personally testing this out is not possible at this time. 

Also, stay tuned for more on the best additional KSysGuard tabs available for download and use.

Until then, Happy (Plasma) computing!

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