What to do with frozen desktop?

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Rhinox
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What to do with frozen desktop?

Post by Rhinox » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:11 pm

A strange thing happened to me for the first time: system (mint cinnamon 19, fully updated) got frozen. I was doing something (do not remember what), and suddenly I could not do anything. I had 2 or 3 windows opened, but I could no more switch to them. No button worked, no start menu, nothing. I could move mouse cursor, but nothing more. I could left/righ-click anywhere on desktop, nothing happened...

I tried some keyboard-combos I remembered from old time (i.e. ctrl+alt+del, ctrl+alt+break, ctrl+f2, ctrl+alt+f2, alt+f2, alt+f4, ctrl+c, etc), but nothing happened. I waited a few minutes, then I did hard-reset.

Is there someting better I could do in such a situation? Some keyboard-combo that restarts desktop, or somehow switch to console to do clean shutdown?

gm10
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Re: What to do with frozen desktop?

Post by gm10 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:19 pm

Ctrl+Alt+Backspace is the default combo for killing off the X-session, getting you back to the login screen. But with the desktop/X frozen, that might not work. In that case hold down Alt+SysRq and slowly type REISUB to gracefully shut down and reboot your system (O at the end instead of B turns it off). This works on all Linux systems since it's a kernel function. SysRq is usually mapped to the PrtScr key by the way - on some laptops you need to press Fn in addition to activate it.

Rhinox
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Re: What to do with frozen desktop?

Post by Rhinox » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:36 pm

I tried crtrl+alt+backspace too, but it did not work. Concerning that alt+sysrq trick: does it have to be "alt" (the left one)? On my keyboard, the right one is labeled "altgr". If it must be only "alt" (the left one), then I have to call someone to help me, as I need two hands just to keep left "alt" and "sysrq" pressed...

That "alt+f2/f3/f4" (or ctrl+alt+f2/f3/f4) combo does not work anymore? I remember a few years ago it got me to console, while desktop was still running...

Anyway I'm not sure only desktop froze. But I could still move mouse-cursor, so at least something worked...

gm10
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Re: What to do with frozen desktop?

Post by gm10 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:43 pm

Alt Gr also works on most keyboards, just try it to be sure it works on yours. Remember you only need to press 3 keys at a time - technically the combo is Alt+SysRq+R, Alt+SysRq+E, etc. - these are all separate commands. It's not hard to do.

Ctrl+Alt+F1...F12 is still the shortcut to switch between terminals. The default graphical session is on tty7. The Ctrl key is only needed to switch while in an X session since the Alt+ combos are remapped (e.g. Alt+F4 to close a window). With the X session frozen in your case it's conceivable that these didn't work.

PS: There's also Alt+SysRq+K to have the kernel kill the X session (all running processes really). That combo is disabled by default though in Mint's configuration, you'd have to re-enable it.

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all41
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Re: What to do with frozen desktop?

Post by all41 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:16 pm

fwiw
On every system I now have, or have had in the past, desktop or laptop,
the sequence is:
Hold down the Alt key and continue holding.
Then press and release the SysRec (PrtScn) key, then enter r e i s u b
all while continuing to hold the Alt key down
Proud to be a supporter and monthly contributor to Mint.

gm10
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Re: What to do with frozen desktop?

Post by gm10 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:18 pm

all41 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:16 pm
fwiw
On every system I now have, or have had in the past, desktop or laptop,
the sequence is:
Hold down the Alt key and continue holding.
Then press and release the SysRec (PrtScn) key, then enter r e i s u b
all while continuing to hold the Alt key down
Thanks, learned something, never tried it like that. So even only 2 keys at a time are necessary.

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all41
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Re: What to do with frozen desktop?

Post by all41 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:27 pm

gm10 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:18 pm
all41 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:16 pm
fwiw
On every system I now have, or have had in the past, desktop or laptop,
the sequence is:
Hold down the Alt key and continue holding.
Then press and release the SysRec (PrtScn) key, then enter r e i s u b
all while continuing to hold the Alt key down
Thanks, learned something, never tried it like that. So even only 2 keys at a time are necessary.
type REISUB to gracefully shut down and reboot your system
this makes it even more graceful?
Proud to be a supporter and monthly contributor to Mint.

gm10
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Re: What to do with frozen desktop?

Post by gm10 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:34 pm

all41 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:27 pm
type REISUB to gracefully shut down and reboot your system
this makes it even more graceful?
For sure, you'll get all the ladies like that. :lol:

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