Ctrl+Alt+Del in Ubuntu

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I get asked this often.. and sometimes i forget it myself. So decided to make a note of it for posterity 🙂

QUESTION: On windows when a program causes windows to hang, you can use Ctrl+Alt+Del to get to the Task Manager.. and then kill the culprit.. is there something like that in Ubuntu?

ANSWER: Yes, sort of. Ubuntu has an application called System Monitor which does this in the GUI.. however in case of most freezes.. you won’t be able to get to it. You can however go into terminal and tell ubuntu to kill the offender.

on the odd ocassion that your Ubuntu machine “freezes” or “hangs” and you don’t want to hard restart the machine.. for fear of borking the OS or something or other. heres what you do.

1) hit Ctrl+Alt+F2 or Ctrl+Alt+F6 , this switches to the terminal
(non GUI full screen blackness.. to go back to GUI use Alt-F7)

2) execute the following:
sudo killall <name of the application you think is the problem>
(you’ll have to login as root)

3) go back to GUI using Alt+F7

note: if the killall isnt able to kill the app.. use -9
sudo killall -9 <name of the application you think is the problem>

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