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Force quit a crashed or frozen program in Linux

Did you switch from Windows because you were fed up with programs crashing? Unfortunately, they crash in Linux too, but Linux fanatics don't tell you that. All programs in all operating systems can crash because of bugs or bad programming and there's nothing you can do about it. Operating systems vary in their ability to handle programs that crash, lock up and freeze though. Here's what you can do in Linux.

Right click the top or bottom panel and select Add to panel. Select Force Quit from the list of items to add an icon to the panel. Click and drag it to wherever you want it to be displayed. When you want to force a program to quit, click the icon and the mouse cursor turns into a cross. Now just click the program to terminate it.

Another way to force a program to quit is to press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys all at the same time. A dialog appears asking whether you want to shut down, restart, suspend or hibernate. Choose the first or second option.

Alternatively, press Alt+F2 and a dialog opens asking which program you would like to run. Type in xkill and the mouse cursor turns into a cross. Click on the program window you want to shut down.

You can create a keyboard shortcut to do this. In Ubuntu select System, Preferences, Keyboard Shortcuts. Click Add and enter Force Quit for the name and xkill for the command. Click Apply. You'll find your new shortcut at the bottom of the list under Custom Shortcuts. In the Shortcuts column, click Disabled and then press the key combo that you want to use for this command. You could use the Windows Key+Q or Windows Key+F - anything so long as it doesn't clash with any other shortcut. Now you can press the shortcut key combo and then click the window to force-quit.

If all else fails, hold down the power button on the computer and after about five seconds the power will be cut. You can then switch it back on and boot up.

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