A few months ago, I was drawing in Adobe Illustrator for an animation we were producing, and I was having trouble with my laptop bogging down and becoming completely unresponsive when Illustrator threw up its hands at copying or pasting the hundreds of tiny switches and buttons I had drawn on a retro-style computer bank.
When that happened, my options were basically to wait 10–15 minutes for Illustrator to get itself together and return control, or log in remotely and kill the process. Thankfully, Gil showed me how to do the latter. Here are the instructions, in case I need them again:
sshinto the Mac from a remote system. I have Panic’s great SSH client, Prompt, on my iPhone or iPad, just for such an occasion.
top -o cputo see what processes are using up most of the cpu
ps auxwwwto get more detail. You can also pipe it with
ps auxwww | headto see column headings. The important ones are the first four: USER, PID, %CPU, and %MEM
ps auxwww | grep -i adobeto search for processes with ‘adobe’ in the name (or whatever app you suspect is dragging things down)
- Note the process ID (PID) of the CPU or memory-hogging app, and try to kill the process with
sudo kill -9 [PID]; in my case this did not free the system
- If killing the individual app fails, try
ps auxwww | grep -i loginwindowand look for the process belonging to my USER, make note of the PID, then
sudo kill -9 [PID]to force logout of your user and quit all apps.
- Log back in and all should be well, probably?
You should check out my podcast about movie magic and VFX: The Optical.