How to kill a process without the command terminal?

If you can’t move the cursor on your screen or if it moves but clicking on anything is unresponsive, is there a way other than “xkill” to force stop a process when you can’t get to the command terminal? Thank you.

Text screen

Sometimes it is possible to log into a text screen (if the computer is still responding to the hotkeys for that purpose),

ctrl + alt + F2

Log in with your normal user ID and password, and run commands. Often it will be possible this way to identify and kill a problematic process.

After that you can return to your desktop environment with

ctrl + alt + F7

Maybe you must turn off the whole desktop environment with

sudo service lightdm stop

and after that restart it with

sudo service lightdm start

if you are using lightdm as I do in Lubuntu 18.04.x.

Graceful emergency shutdown

In worse cases there is

Emergency shutdown in a graceful way

using the SysRq REISUB (reboot) or SysRq REISUO (shutdown) hotkey combination. It will often work when other things fail, and it is much better than hard shutdown with the power button.

1 Like

Thank you very much. Ctl + Alt + F2 doesn’t work on my computer for whatever reason, but the Graceful ER shutdown (Alt + PrntScrn + o) worked as prescribed. Will try that next time.

Through trial and error, I discovered that Ctrl+Fn+Alt+F2 works to open the terminal, and Ctrl+Fn+Alt+F1 takes you back to the GUI. I gather this is non-standard.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.