Linux Locked up, Now What?

I’m watching a video series on USB, using my Linux Mint Cinnamon system. 2-3 times it has locked up. In Windows, I would have used Ctrl-Alt-Del to close the window. Is there a comparable command in Linux? Something I can do when the screen becomes completely unresponsive to get out of it besides shutting down the computer?

Can you right-click the icon of the app in question in the dock or panel? There should be an option to close it.

Hello @PrettyGranny!
First and foremost, I would recommend downloading vlc which supports everything and rarely gets stuck. Also MPV as a back up as it’s legendarily the fastest in the world (and simplest). Those tend to not freeze your system - plus they install possibly much more compatible sets of codecs.

sudo apt install vlc mpv

If you ever land having your system stuck, try hitting CTRL+ALT+F3 - which will drop you to TTY3 (Terminal 3 from the dozen that can run in parallel). You can login with your credentials and then type:

sudo systemctl stop lightm
sudo systemctl start lightdm

This will kill and restart your desktop interface.

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If it is a hard lockup and you can’t even move the mouse, you might try holding the power button for about 6-8 seconds and that will power down. That is a last resort though.

On a keyboard, you SHOULD be able to hit ctl-alt-F1 to get into a terminal session. You will need to log into your user account, with user name and password. This is a command line screen. At a prompt you can usually enter: $ top (do not enter the dollar sign) to get a program that shows all the processes. However, this is an advanced technique.

Alternatively you might type: $ sudo shutdown -r now

This will reboot your machine completely.

(These are just alternative answers to what the others have already said)

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Thanks you, @vasileios and @Pirate_Fletcher. It was a hard lockup, and I did use the power button technique, because I had no idea what else to try. Nothing worked, not the mouse, but I knew no other things to try. I’m going to print out your instructions so I will be ready if it happens again.

This types of hard-locks happened to me too about a few months ago. I thought it was due to a “needed” BIOS firmware update. It turned out that there was a fault in a graphics routine call. Ubuntu and Manjaro surpassed it via newer Kernel modules. I believe Mint will soon too, as it’s more cautious when it comes to Kernel upgrades.