Rebooting frozen (k)ubuntu softly: ALT + PrintScrn + REISUB

I run the latest version of Ubuntu Linux with the KDE Desktop environment (that is KUbuntu, really) on my Dell Inspiron laptop, and most of the time, I’m very happy with it. There is one major problem however: Now and then, the whole system freezes for no apparent reason. This is bad for several reasons, such as the risk of loosing data, the sheer annoyance and wasted time, and the fact that I’m now facing some of the same problems with Linux that I used to face with windows several years ago (Remember the infamous “blue screen of death”?). Also, rebooting by cutting the power (that is, turning the PC off and on again) is probably not very good for the hardware or the system. There is, after all, a reason why it usually takes a few seconds to shut it down.

For that last problem at least, here is a useful tip:
Holding down and while entering the letters R, E, I, S, U and B will shut down the system more carefully, and reboot. I don’t remember exactly what each character stands for, but the last one was supposedly “boot”. I believe the others turn off other processes first, so the reboot is as soft as possible.

So that’s it: Alt + PrntScrrn + “REISUB”. I’m hoping this won’t be needed for too long, and that system updates will fix these issues soon. Otherwise, I just might have to go looking for a different distro, because this is not acceptable in the long run.

About kjartanl

Systems Developer working near Bergen, Norway.
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7 Responses to Rebooting frozen (k)ubuntu softly: ALT + PrintScrn + REISUB

  1. V says:

    Is it mounting swap memory?

    You could also try Ctrl+Alt+F1, login, sudo /etc/init.d/kdm restart

  2. kjartanl says:

    Yup, seems to be using swap fine, as far as I can see. Under System Monitor, it appears to be using 0.17 of GiB og 2.3 GiB. “top” also shows swap being used, although there is a lot free too. Is there anything specific I should look for here?

    As for Ctrl+Alt+F1, I’ve tried it. I’ve also tried Ctrl+Alt+Backspace, which (at least it used to?) restarts the X-server, but nope. When it freezes, it really freezes, and this solution is the only one I’ve found to work (In fact, even that hasn’t worked every time, so on occasion, I’ve still been forced to power off and on again).

    Thanks for the help anyway! 🙂

  3. V says:

    Sorry, I can’t help any more than that. Maybe a bug report would get better assistance? I’m not an expert by any stretch, and I had run into the swap problem in the past, so I suggested it.

    I finally gave up on Kubuntu about a month ago, when I decided I spent too much time trouble-shooting. I might come back for 9.10 eventually, but not until openSUSE starts bothering me (and so far it’s blown me away).

  4. chc says:

    Hi there – any progress on this? I’m having the same issue (Dell Inspiron 6000, Kubuntu 9.10)… thread at:

  5. kjartanl says:

    Hi chc. Sorry, no progress. Guess I should have posted this here a long tima ago, but anyway..

    The truth is I really WANTED to like Ubuntu, but in the end I got so annoyed at these random freezes, that I followed V’s advice, and switched to Open Suse. I’m running 11.2 now, with just about everything running perfectly.

    Like V said: I might come back to Ubuntu someday, but for now I’m quite happy with OpenSuse.

  6. chc says:

    Ok, gotcha. If anyone else is struggling with this, see the thread i linked to above… i will post any progress there… (wish me luck 🙂 )

    Thanks for getting back,

  7. kjartanl says:

    Sure, no problem, and thanks for the link above.
    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    And good luck! 😀

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