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 Post subject: [One][Ice][Two] Regain control of X, console facility
PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:37 am 
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 8:56 am
Posts: 2132
Class: Emergency measures
Difficulty: Not hard to remember
Time: However long it normally takes to login plus under a minute
Desirability: Hopefully you'll never need it

Problem

It may be that all of your windows will lock up, but you will still be able to move your mouse cursor, and your computer is still listening to keyboard entry, just none of your apps are responding and you can't switch between them. Check the latter by attempting to transfer to a tty using the combination alt+ctrl+f1.

Measures

If you can make it to a tty, and symptoms persist, then you may need to restart lxdm. You can check if you can regain control of your current desktop by hitting alt+ctrl+f7. If the windows appear to only partially redraw (basic window decorations draw, but nothing else does), then you probably do need to restart it. Login to the tty with your usual credentials, and then use the following command:

Code:
sudo service lxdm restart


You will be returned to the normal login screen.

Drawbacks and getting more help on the console

Unfortunately, this will cause all your X applications to be closed - however, because you still have console control, you might consider doing any disaster recovery work you might need from there. For example, if you know that you can recover some data by moving a file from somewhere in /tmp to somewhere safe, then now's the time to do it.

It may just be possible to regain control of X by closing a (violently!) misbehaving application. The command

Code:
killall application


will cause the processes associated with that application to cease. The command

Code:
top


which comes with Peppermint will list the applications running on your system.

You can even install and call up a text-based web browser by doing

Code:
apt update
apt install lynx
lynx http://peppermintos.net


If you need live chat support to resolve a problem, irssi is a CLI IRC client.

To open up a second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth console, use alt+ctrl+[F1-F6] to switch between them. You can log in to each one individually.

Conclusion

Bear in mind that there are some who do practically everything from the console, and on certain environments (webservers are a common one) there is no X server at all. You can do practically anything from the console. Of course, it helps to have a good understanding of the CLI to get the most out of it.

To get X working again, it is far preferable to restart lxdm than it is to do a hard reboot or whatever.

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