Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ctrl+Alt+Del in GNU/Linux

Everybody seems to be familiar with the famous key combination Ctrl+Alt+Del (known as The Three-Finger Salute). It is used mainly in DOS and Windows to restart the computer or to invoke the Task Manager under critical conditions.

But the question is, what replaces this combination in GNU/Linux? Hang/freeze is a rare condition in GNU/Linux compared to Windows. But what if a high-end 3D program gets your GNU/Linux PC frozen?

Here comes the magical key combination: Ctrl+Alt+SysReq+B. (Please note that SysReq = Print Screen.) This combination is one among the Magic SysReq set (see the Wikipedia article here), a set of key combinations to invoke many low-level system functionalities. Ctrl+Alt+SysReq+B is used to reboot the system immediately without even unmounting the filesystems.

However, please not that this combination may not work under conditions like kernal panic. You'll have to press the reset button on your system unit (cabinet) then.