Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fedora How-To: End Unresponsive Applications with Xkill

There are times when I miss KDE, like, when an application suddenly freezes up for no apparent reason.

I wait and try to close the window clicking on the close [x] glyph.  Tap fingers....

Still nothing.  "Sweet Lord.  Please make it stop!", I mutter.

Then I remember that pressing ctrl-alt-Esc would work in KDE to kill an unresponsive application.  Yes!  (Slaps forehead)  That's it.

Presses ctrl-alt-Esc.   Waits.  (insert sound of crickets...)  NOTHING.

So, as I have discovered, Fedora doesn't have a keyboard mapping to xkill, despite having the utility installed.  My Fedora Peeps are you reading this?  For the Love of God, Add it!  Please.

There.  I said 'please'.  I was nice.

Hokay, deep breaths.  Serenity now... ;)

Ready for a brief how-to to show you how to add a keyboard mapping in Fedora Desktop Edition or Workstation?  Alright.  Here goes.

First you need to go to Settings and click Keyboard to create the shortcut:

Then, click Shortcuts:

Click on Custom Shortcut and the plus (+) symbol to add a shortcut:

Name the shortcut "Force Quit" and the command "xkill":

Click Add to add the shortcut.  Then click on the word 'Disabled' and enter the keys you wish to use to activate this shortcut (I've used Ctrl-Escape as Ctrl-Alt-Escape is already mapped to something else):

My finished Force Quit shortcut:

Finito.  Good grief, I am exhausted.  Just kidding.  That wasn't difficult was it?  I hope not.

So, okay, if and when you encounter a frozen application you can now force it to quit by pressing, in my case, Ctrl-Esc.  Directly above, I show Nautilus Terminal after I have pressed ctrl-esc.  Note that the cursor changes shape to an 'x' to signify you are armed with xkill and dangerous.

Assuming you do want to kill an application, position your mouse cursor over the offending application window and 'left-click'.  That should result in the window closing.  Should you decide to cancel, simply 'right-click' at any time and the 'x' cursor will be replaced by a normal mouse arrow.

And that should do it!  -- Dietrich


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