Raising Skinny Elephants is Utterly Boring – The Magic SysReq key —

Ever have a linux box seemingly freeze on you?  Ever gripe aloud that you may have to hard boot the machine to get it back up?  Well.. Give this a try:

on a keyboard connected to the machine press and HOLD

ALT + PrtScrn/SysRq

then type in this order:


While holding them, one at a time. The machine may restart after the B.

Why? It’s explained better in the Wikipedia Article, but essentially..

It takes back the keyboard from X, shuts things down gracefully.. and allows you to reboot.

unRaw (take control of keyboard back from X),
tErminate (send SIGTERM to all processes, allowing them to terminate gracefully),
kIll (send SIGKILL to all processes, forcing them to terminate immediately),
Sync (flush data to disk),
Unmount (remount all filesystems read-only),

Categorised as: Linux

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