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Old 18th February 2015, 22:45   #18 (permalink)
Akbuk Rob
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Re: Linux Mint XFCE – Install & Setup

Getting out of jams

Application locked up.
Here's the situation . . . . You are putting your computer to work, editing an image or video, web browser open, a word document going on etc. probably half a dozen or so tasks going on simultaneously. You right click something or hit some key and wallop, one of your apps throws a wobbly, it won't budge and you can't close it. What do you do? Reboot, hit it with a hammer, phone a friend? Don't despair help is at hand.

Open a Terminal.
Type xkill
Press Enter.
Your cursor turns into a cross.
Click on the offending window.
It's gone.

Note: You will loose any unsaved changes but everything else is fine.
Try it now, launch any app and xkill it.


The Three Finger Salute.
Another way of getting out of a sticky situation is with the “Three Finger Salute”.

Ctrl+Alt+Backspace (without the “+”)
or sometimes
Ctrl+Alt+Delete (Backspace/Delete it varies on different systems).
This trick takes you to the Login screen.


Whole system freeze.
It's rare but it can happen, it's usually related to some hardware in your computer not playing nicely with the operating system, graphics maybe. Perhaps you have experienced such an event. Nothing works, not mouse nor keyboard nor swearing.

What do you do? Press & hold the power button to force a hard shutdown? That's not a good way. Windows would certainly not be happy and would probably want to run 2 hours of self diagnostics before letting you back in. Linux won't be so hard on you but you risk corrupting data or even the system, most times you will get away with a hard shutdown but it's that one bad time that we want to avoid.

Linux “Magic Keys” to the rescue.

All Linux systems provide a a back door to communicate with the kernel directly and here's how:
Hold down the Alt and SysRq (Print Screen) keys.
While holding those down, type the following in order. Nothing will appear to happen until the last letter is pressed: reisub
Watch your computer reboot magically.

What the individual keys do in that sequence are not as important as what it does as a whole: stops all programs, unmounts all drives, and reboots. A lot safer than just cutting the power.

Notes:
Don't rush this, hold each key down for 1-2 seconds to give it time to do its tasks.
On some computers (especially laptops) access to the SysRq key requires also pressing the Fn key, without testing we can't be sure.
An easy way to remember this sequence is busier spelt backwards.
Don't play with this willy nilly, it should be used as a last resort.
If you have used reisub correctly and the computer still does not respond then the kernel has gone into a “Panic” and your only option now is the “Hard Shutdown”.
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Last edited by Akbuk Rob; 18th February 2015 at 23:00..
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