Alternative way to kill X in Linux with Alt + Printscreen + K

Sunday, 31st October 2010

I’ve recently realized that the CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE keyboard combination is no longer working in Debian unstable.

This good old well known keyboard combination to restart X is not working with my xorg 7.5+8 under my Gnome 2.30 desktop
However thanksfully there is another combination to kill the X server if for instance if your Gnome desktop hangs.

If that happens simply press ALT + PRINTSCREEN + K this will kill your X and then reload the (Gnome Display manager) gdm.

Another suggestion I’ve red in the forums of a way to enable back CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE is to put in either .bashrc or .xinitrc the following command

setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp

BTW It’s better that the above command is placed in ~/.xinitrc.

I’ve also red on some forums that in newer releases of Ubuntu. The CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE can be enabled using a specific command, e.g. with:

dontzap -disable

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One Response to “Alternative way to kill X in Linux with Alt + Printscreen + K”

  1. Alaric says:
    Firefox 3.6.12 Firefox 3.6.12 Ubuntu 10.04 Ubuntu 10.04
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101027 Ubuntu/10.04 (lucid) Firefox/3.6.12

    I had never heard of this before. I’m very glad I stumbled on your post, because I’ve been trying for a couple hours to enable this in LXDE, which is a bit less pre-configured with convenient gui’s than Gnome Ubuntu (but a lot faster). This made short work of that problem!! It’s funny that I didn’t think it worked at first, but it turns out it has to be typed in with normal US keymapping–I type using Dvorak. It works like Alt-SysReq-REISUB, AltGr-PrSc-K only works with regular US keys. Anyway, Thanks, you helped me out!

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