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Interactive process-tracking program

'LavaPS' is an interactive process-tracking program that presents a small amount of important information in a graphical analog form (as opposed to lots of information presented digitally). It runs in the background and quickly and simply gives you a rough idea of what's happening. Each blob represents a process. Blob size is proportional to memory usage, and movement is proportional to CPU usage. Color is a combination of program name (which decided the hue) and time since the program last ran (which decides saturation): things that haven't run in a while are stationary and dark, while things that run a lot are bright and moving. A popup box gives more information about a process. Clicking the left button brings up the popup, the right button brings up a control menu.


User manpage available in HTML format from

Related Projects



Verified by

Verified on


Verified by

Janet Casey

Verified on

9 July 2002

Leaders and contributors

John Heidemann Maintainer

Resources and communication

AudienceResource typeURI
Bug Tracking,Developer,

Software prerequisites

Required to buildSTL
Required to buildTcl/Tk 8.x *or* Gnome/GTK 2.2
Required to buildC++
Required to buildGcc 2.8 or later

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 20 January 2017.


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