4 Ways to Kill Unresponsive Applications in Debian 10

It is often annoying when a program stops working, and you cannot even close it. Rebooting the system is not always the right way, and we are looking for ways to get rid of non-responsive programs easily and quickly. In this article, we will learn about these methods, including the graphical interface and command line, for destroying non-responsive applications on a Debian system.

We ran the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 system. Some of the methods described here were run on the Terminal application command line. To open a terminal in Debian, go to the “Actions” tab in the upper left corner of the desktop. Then in the search bar enter the keyword terminal. When the search result appears, click on the terminal icon.

Method 1: Use the X button for non-responsive user interface applications

If one of your UI-based programs doesn’t respond for too long, try closing it by clicking the x button in the upper right corner of the window. Sometimes, when you try to close a non-responding application using this method, it will prompt you to send an error report. Also, in some cases, you are given the opportunity to wait or forcibly exit the application.

Using this method, you are most likely to be able to close the application.

Method 2: use the system monitor, Debian task manager

Like the Windows Task Manager, Debian also comes with a built-in System Monitor utility. Using this System Monitor utility, you can terminate, terminate, stop, and continue processes running on your system.

To start the Gnome system monitor using the user interface, press the super-key on the keyboard and enter the system monitor keyword. Alternatively, you can search for System Monitor Utilities in the application list.

System monitor

System Monitor starts by default on the Processes tab. Here you will see all the processes running on your system, including non-responding processes. To kill an unresponsive program, right-click on it and select Murder option.

Kill the application in the system monitor

You can also use the “Stop” or “End” option to safely close applications.

Method 3: use the Xkill utility

There is another Linux utility known as Xkill that you can use to destroy non-responsive applications on your system. It is preinstalled on most Linux distributions, including Debian.

To run this utility, simply enter xkill in Terminal:

$ xkill

After starting the utility, you will see that the mouse pointer turns into an “x” or a skull. To close any application, simply place the pointer on it and left-click on it. This will kill the unresponsive program in a few seconds.

Create keyboard shortcuts for Xkill

Although Xkill is an effective tool for closing non-responsive programs, opening a terminal and running a command may seem troublesome. There is also the fastest way to achieve this with a keyboard shortcut. Just press the key combination and kill any non-responsive program.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Open the keyboard shortcut settings

Press the super-key on the keyboard, and then find the keyboard shortcuts using the search bar that appears. Keyboard shortcut

When the settings window opens, you will find several shortcuts for different purposes.

Keyboard Shortcuts

2. Create your own shortcut

Scroll down the screen and press the + button. To add a shortcut to the Xkill utility, click the + button.

When Add custom shortcut A dialog box appears, enter xkill in the Name and Command fields, as shown in the following screenshot.

Create shortcut for xkill command

After that click Set shortcut A button that allows you to set your own shortcut for your Xkill utility.

Choose a keyboard shortcut for quick access.

Press the key combination of your choice that is not yet used on your system. Here i enter Ctrl + Alt + 6 as a custom shortcut for xkill,

xkill keyboard

Then close the dialog box. After that, you can see the shortcut you added in the list.

Now try using a shortcut and you can quickly kill non-responsive applications.

Method 4: Using the kill, pkill, and killall Commands

There are also some other command line methods for destroying non-responsive applications on the system. These methods are useful for those who prefer the command line rather than the graphical interface.

To view the current processes on your system, run the top utility with the following command in the terminal:

$ top

top team

The output displays all the processes running on your system, along with their process identifier (PID).

To kill any program, enter kill and then the process identifier (PID):

$ kill PID

Linux kill command

Pkill can also be used to kill a process using the process name as follows:

$ pkill [Process-name]

Linux pkill command

If many instances of an application are running and you want to kill them all, try using the following command:

$ killall [Process-name]

Linux killall command

In this article, we learned how to kill processes using various command line and GUI methods. I hope this will be useful whenever you need to quickly kill any non-responsive application that hangs and doesn’t respond.

4 Ways to Kill Unresponsive Applications in Debian 10