Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

November 11, 2008

Fix Unresponsive or Frozen Linux Computers

Filed under: Knowledgebase,Linux/Unix Related — Suramya @ 4:43 PM

If you are ever stuck on a Linux system that is completely unresponsive try the following key combination to get access back:

Alt PrintScreen r s e i u b.

When you type the command the system executes the following commands:

* r – takes the control of the keyboard back from X.
* s – writes the data from the disc cache to the hard disk.
* e – sends SIGTERM to all processes except init.
* i – sends SIGKILL to all processes except init
* u – remounts all the filesystems readonly (basically a measure to help you reboot safely)
* b – reboots the system

Please keep in mind that this is a last ditch method, that is to be used only when everything else has failed to get you access to the system. Normally you should be able to switch to a virtual terminal (F1-F6) and kill the offending application.

Source: Fix Unresponsive or Frozen Linux Computers using Shortcuts |

– Suramya


  1. I happen to compile my kernel just yesterday and noticed this thing. Never knew it before. “Documentation/sysrq.txt” in the kernel source tree might interest you.

    Comment by Anomalizer — November 25, 2008 @ 9:32 AM

  2. Thanks for the info. I will check it out the next time I try to compile a kernel.

    – Suramya

    Comment by Suramya — November 25, 2008 @ 9:08 PM

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