[GRLUG] screen not recovering

Michael Mol mikemol at gmail.com
Fri Nov 26 09:30:27 EST 2010

On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 9:16 AM, Eric Beversluis
<ebever at researchintegration.org> wrote:
> On further peering, it looks like the right stuff comes to the screen
> when I jiggle the mouse but extremely faintly. I can just see the dialog
> box to log back in and once I manage that, I can just faintly see the
> Gnome desktop.
> It looks from Googling that ctrl-alt-backspace is supposed to restart
> Gnome from within Gnome. But that doesn't seem to work when I try it
> from with (normally appearing) Gnome. And from what I see on line, one
> is supposed to close all open programs first.  Ideally I need a way to
> recover the Gnome desktop without losing all my open apps and unsaved
> material.

The Ctrl-Alt-Backspace keyboard shortcut is a trigger to kill your
running X server--but it can be disabled in your X configuration, so
it may not necessarily work.  Two other approaches (that you shouldn't
try right now):

1) At a console terminal, login as root (or as a normal user, then
sudo), and restart GDM. On most systems, "/etc/init.d/gdm restart"
will accomplish this.
2) SSH in from another machine, sudo to get root access, and then
restart GDM. Again, on most systems, "/etc/init.d/gdm restart" will
accomplish this.

Both of those will close all your running X11 apps; they'll detect
that the X server they were connected to is gone, and terminate

> @Michael:
> Ctrl-Alt-F1 brings me to a login screen. Can I get back to Gnome from
> there without shutting down and restarting?

X is usually running on a virtual terminal (VT) somewhere in the range
of 7-10, but where it is depends on the configuration of
slim/kdm/gdm/xdm.  In succession, try:


(Alt-F#) is the keyboard shortcut to bounce around VTs if you're not
in X. If you're in X, prefix with Ctrl-.

--Wait, dimmed? As in this is a laptop? It sounds like my
'modesetting' thought is entirely off-base. I suspect GNOME simply
failed to turn on your laptop's backlight, or didn't turn it up

Additional things to try:

1) Plug in an external monitor, and move your display to that using
whatever LCD/external switching keyboard shortcuts you have.
2) Fn-key combination on your laptop labeled for controlling the
laptop backlight (turn on/off backlight, adjust brightness, etc). Try
using those for getting your backlight running again.
3) Check and adjust your display power management options under
System->Preferences->Power Management.


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