Kill unresponsive applications on Linux

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Sometimes things go a bit wrong. Sometimes they go very wrong. XKill is a simple little application that allows you to kill a running X application that has got out of kilter. Think of this as a quick way to get back control of your Desktop.


xkill (installed by default on most distributions)


When a program you are running has hung hit Alt + F2 to bring up the Run dialog. Enter xkill an press enter.

Alternatively if you have a terminal window already open you can use that to run xkill too.

Depending on your theme/desktop setup you will now see either an X symbol or a skull and crossbones. Simply hover the mouse of the application that is being naughty and left-click with the mouse. The application should immediately disappear.

If you find you've run xkill by mistake you can right-click to cancel. If the application that has hung is not in the foreground you can use Alt+Tab to cycle applications even while xkill is running.