What to do when Linux freezes ~ Keyboard commands

Photo by  Amanda Tetrault
Photo by Amanda Tetrault

Installed Linux Mint on my desktop computer, and I find the thing freezes–and not as in frozen mint ice cream. I needed a way to unfreeze Linux that doesn’t involve pressing and holding the power button–a huge no-no that I loathe to do as it almost certainly corrupts the filesystem. With Windows, the go-to command is <ctrl>+<alt>+<delete>. That doesn’t seem to do much of anything with Linux Mint. Here are some other Linux commands to try.

Via CraigEvil on LinuxQuestions.org

First try:

  • ALT+CTRL+F1 restarting the X-server
  • ALT+CTRL+BACKSPACE

If those don’t work, the SYSRQ-key (system-printscreen-key, on the upper right side of the keyboard) can be used to cleanly reboot a frozen system.

Use the following sequence of key-combinations until you get a response you can work with.

Give every step a few seconds to complete. Ending all processes, for example, can take a while.

  1. ALT+SYSRQ+R (should give back control of the keyboard )
  2. ALT+SYSRQ+S (issues a sync)
  3. ALT+SYSRQ+E (Sends term to all processes but init)
  4. ALT+SYSRQ+I (Sends kill to all processes but init)
  5. ALT+SYSRQ+U (filesystems are mounted readonly, prevents fsck at reboot)
  6. ALT+SYSRQ+B (reboots the system, without the previous steps this would be a hard reset).

Remember the letter sequence with this mnemonic:

“Raising Skinny Elephants Is Utterly Boring”

Get in! No time to explain!