Restart Ubuntu Gnome session without rebooting

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If you want to quickly restart X Windows on Ubuntu or any version of linux, all you have to do is hit this key combination quickly or use the command line option


You can use the following command from your terminal

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

Note: Make sure that you save your work before doing this

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13 Responses

  1. vimal says:

    1. How to configure GUI Mode in Ubunto 7.4 & what is the configuration file?

  2. Daniel says:

    Thak you.

  3. Carlos says:

    Thanx, but in Ubuntu 9 that command shut downs the computer and reboot it.

    Any other command to reboot gnome without rebooting the PC?

  4. alfplayer says:

    sudo restart gdm

    this apparently works in karmic

  5. Limey says:

    sudo service gdm restart

  6. Aaron Curtis says:

    Ctrl+alt+backspace no longer works by default in Ubuntu. Alt+print screen+k does essentially (exactly?) the same thing, though, and works in 9.10 (haven’t tried it in 10.04 yet).

  7. Jason says:

    I’ve always just done sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

  8. Rodders says:

    Doesn’t work for Lucid (10.04)
    It stops gdm but the restarting does not bring up the graphics screen.

    Must be something new in the gdm, because it works for older versions.
    Also Ctrl-Alt-Backspace has been removed from the list of fast keystrokes, see System>Preferences>Keyboard Shortcuts

  9. MagickalHack says:

    Alt+Prntscr+K works in 10.04.

  10. Adsiwew says:

    This works also:

    killall gnome-panel

    It can be executed from the run dialog (ALT+F2).

  11. cheryl says:

    Well i have tried every suggestion I can find on the net and i found that every one of them has either corrupted my graphics configuration (terminal commands changed graphics mode and I had to boot in recover mode) or corrupted my file system (alt-printscrn/sysrrq-k lost all my downloads that I thought were already committed to disk).

    I wish they had left ctrl-alt-backspace alone i cannot even figure out how to put it back in now that it is gone from the list of keyboard shortcuts.

    the whole point of having an active keyboard interrupt to kill the window manager directly is what happens if x freezes and you cannot open a terminal window to enter a command? I have this same problem on Solaris and the only way I ever figured out how to get out of frozen x was to rlogin from another terminal in someone else’s office and kill the x server process on my workstation so I can go back and log in again at my desk.

    I only have one computer here at home. What if I am running a job I do not want killed? Now thanks to the prug-n-pray mentality infecting Ubuntu my linux box is just as hobbled as my windows!

    Please put it back!

  12. John says:

    The proper way to restart a service is through the command service. (sudo service gdm restart)
    Gdm is now lightdm in ubuntu 11.10.

  13. ervin davidson says:

    it did not work, it says gdm not found

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