Ubuntu Linux – How to reboot cleanly even when the keyboard/mouse are frozen

The WubiGuide – Ubuntu Wiki explains that Wubi based Ubuntu systems are more vulnerable to uncleanly shut down files systems as they use the Windows NTFS format which they can not repair. It is therefore important to shut down cleanly whenever possible. Even if a problem appears to have frozen the system there are still several ways to reboot cleanly using key combinations such as:

  1. CTRL + ALT+ F2 (get to a terminal, you can then run top/kill/pkill to discover and kill the offending process)
  2. ALT+ SYSRQ + R then CTRL + ALT+ F2 (as above, but first try to regain control of the keyboard)
  3. CTRL + ALT + Backspace (kills the graphic session and goes to a console, all graphical applications are terminated too)
  4. ALT+ SYSRQ + R then ALT + Backspace (as above, but first try to regain control of the keyboard)
  5. CTRL + ALT + DEL (reboot)
  6. ALT+ SYSRQ + R then CTRL + ALT + DEL (as above, but first try to regain control of the keyboard)
  7. ALT+ SYSRQ + R + S + U + B (forces a clean reboot even when the keyboard is not responding)

The last one is the most effective, but you could try the other commands first but make sure you understand the commands before trying the first and other methods using a terminal – 3, 5 and 7 are probably best for a beginner. I believe the final sequence means hold down ALT and SYSREQ (may be Print Screen on your keyboard) together then add R, S, U and B in sequence rather than need 6 fingers! There is some explanation in the Free Software Magazine at How to close down GNU/Linux safely after a system freeze with the SysRq key

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