[sf-lug] Simple Question

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
Sun Nov 18 20:18:06 PST 2007

Actually, ... that's not *quite* the absolute worst case.  I've seen a bit

In some cases, X, keyboard/video mode, mouse, etc. may be sufficiently
out-of-whack or in sufficiently bad/confused state that using
<control-alt-backspace> either doesn't kill the X-server, or gives
no visual indications of having done so and keyboard and mouse input
still doesn't work, *and*, trying to change virtual consoles via
<control-alt-Fn> also doesn't work (or appears to do nothing).  In such
cases, if you can access the system via other means (e.g. ssh in from
elsewhere), it may still be possible to restore things to sanity.  E.g.
ssh in, and shutdown and restart whatever X server stuff you would
normally have running, e.g. in my case that would typically be (a rather
non-default configuration):
# cd /etc/init.d && {
> for tmp in [gkx]dm; do ./"$tmp" stop; done
> for tmp in [gkx]dm; do ./"$tmp" start; done
> unset tmp; }
(I typically have X running on 3 or 4 virtual terminals, ... though I mostly
just use it on one virtual terminal)

Anyway, by shutting down all the X stuff ... and then starting it up again,
that typically runs all the X and keyboard/video/mouse stuff through
enough (re)initialization to return sanity to things.
Has on at least rare occasion (like maybe about once every year or two)
when I've managed to get things that sufficiently hosed,
saved me from otherwise needing to reboot.
$ uptime
 20:09:56 up 101 days, 21:35, 20 users,  load average: 0.27, 0.22, 0.14
(yes, that's my personal *laptop*! ... it doesn't get out much)

That's probably still not the absolute worst case ... but much worse and
reboot might be needed or reboot may just be the more feasible and/or
time efficient approach.

> Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 11:00:49 -0800
> From: "Nathan Hoover" <nathan at foo-o-rama.com>
> Subject: Re: [sf-lug] Simple Question
> To: "SFLUG Mailing List" <sf-lug at linuxmafia.com>
> Absolute worst case, you can always hit ctrl-alt-backspace to kill X and
> restart it.
> On 16 Nov 2007 13:23:45 -0500, Blake Haggerty <Blake.Haggerty at sapphire.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >  This may be the dumbest question I will ever ask.. probably not I forsee
> > many more dumb questions, but anyway, So last night I was playing a
> > game called Urban Terror when I run the game it takes over the entire
> > screen. I will play for 30 mins or so shoot a bunch of stuff etc. and
> then
> > the server in the game has an error and it kicks me out to my desktop but
> > the game is still running  in a small window. My mouse is still
> controlling
> > the window inside the game only and I cant click on anything outside of
> the
> > game. (like desktop, toolbar, start...etc) Is there a command to get my
> > mouse out of this window ? or is there a command I can hit to just kill
> the
> > open program? Is there a command I can hit to open all my running
> processes
> > and then select the game to kill it?

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