[SATLUG] Noob tip Ubuntu

herb cee hc at lookcee.com
Tue Jan 22 07:25:11 CST 2008

Samuel Leon wrote:
> herb cee wrote:
>> Bruce Dubbs wrote:
>>> herb cee wrote:
>>>> I recently found that I can boot just Gnome and reset the menus and
>>>> running apps without rebooting the box << ctrl+alt+backspace closes
>>>> files and reboots Gnome only. this helps when things start to bog a 
>>>> bit
>>>> like streaming does when traffic is heavy. Or when Package manage 
>>>> fails
>>>> and freezes and will not display the force quit. anyway it's faster by
>>>> far than a full boot.
>>> Actually ctrl+alt+backspace kills xorg.  Since the window manager runs
>>> as a child of X, it dies too.  When a system is set to boot up to run
>>> levl 5, it generally has something like:
>>> x:5:respawn:/etc/X11/prefdm -nodaemon
>>> in /etc/inittab, so X and your window manager (Gnome, KDE, twm, etc)
>>> restart when X dies.  If you boot to a command line (generally run 
>>> level
>>> 3) like I do, then ctrl+alt+backspace will just go back to the 
>>> command line.
>>>   -- Bruce
> I am really not sure how "good" ctrl alt backspace is.  I have had to 
> use it a few times.  A better way is, if a program is giving you 
> trouble, you can switch to the tty getty (terminal).  To get out of 
> the getty that X is running on you have to press ctrl alt and one of 
> the F keys 1-6.  That will take you to a full terminal.  There are 7 
> of them f1-7.  Once you are in one you can switch back and forth 
> between all of them by just pressing alt and an f key.  The x server 
> runs on 7.  Once you are in the console you can run top or ps -ef  or 
> ps aux to find the process you need to kill.  With ps you might have 
> to pipe over to less to be able to uses the arrow keys to scroll the 
> page that ps prints out. ps aux | less
> Also in really bad situations where the computer pretty much locks up 
> you can try forcing it to do a full reboot. Press "alt s" to sync the 
> disks followed by "alt u" to unmount the disks follow by "alt b" to 
> force a full reboot.
> Sam
I read here http://linux.about.com/od/ubuntu_doc/a/ubudg10t18.htm
 >>> Restart GNOME without rebooting the computer
    Save and close all open applications.
     Use the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace shortcut keys to restart GNOME.
      If Ctrl-Alt-Backspace is disabled, type      sudo /etc/init.d/gdm 
restart (assume opening terminal to type into)

Now in further googling I see this sometimes cause problems with some 
machines I remembered this shortcut some time back when I clicked the 
update notice icon and had the desktop freeze the mouse had no effect on 
any window so 'ctrl alt backspace' shut down Gnome and restarted with 
the log-in dialog. I tried the update again and this time it worked 
fine. This has happened several times since. Not often enough to call it 
a problem just annoying and since I usually do not have anything running 
at that moment it is a fast easy way to get out of the hangup.

I thought it was useful information to pass on to fellow noobs but I 
should have said be cautious. if the mouse is dead then you will lose 
any unsaved data. If I discover another tip I will be more careful and 
ask my peers first.
Thanks guys

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