Linux Base System Hung

Do your utmost to avoid forcing a power down. You may leave the disk in a half-written state and it may not reboot successfully.

Try the following steps, in order, until you have wakened the system from its narcosis.

  1. Is it really hung? Perhaps it is just a "work slowdown".
  2. Try the obvious, like unplugging the device you plugged in just before it hung. Try to determine what changed before it hung.
  3. If X11 is running, do ctrl-alt-F1, which should bring you to the console window. From there you can login and try to determine which process is hanging the system. Some useful commands are: If you think the gnome X11 session is the culprit, you can look for and shut down the gnome session with these commands: To return to the X11 login window, do alt-F7.
  4. If it hangs early in the boot sequence, you may be able to use the DOS three finger salute: ctrl-alt-del.
  5. Otherwise, if all else fails, use the following three-finger-chords with the SysRq key (labeled as Print/SysRq), by first pressing and holding the Alt key, then SysRq and then 's', 'u' or 'b'. Do these chords, in succession:
    1. alt-sysrq-s (syncs the disk)
    2. alt-sysrq-u (unmounts disks, then remounts read-only)
    3. alt-sysrq-b (boots)
  6. If the kernel is completely hung, and none of the above solutions work, you can force a power off, by holding down the power button until it powers off. Good luck on the reboot.