Restarting X and the GNOME window manager on Linux hosts

I useGNOME as my primary desktop at work, and periodically need to restart the Xserver / windowing environment to pick up new changes. If I have an X environment up and running, I will send a cntrl + alt + backspace to restart the X server. If for some reason I’m not able to send the key sequence above (this isn’t feasible if I’m logged in remotely), I will run the telinit command to switch to run level 3 (multi user mode w/o X), then execute it a second time to switch back to run level 5 (multi user mode w/ X):

$ telinit 3

$ telinit 5

The latest GNOME bits are pretty slick, though I’m starting to dig KDE again (I used to use KDE years ago). I plan to share my experience with the latest KDE bits in a future post.

2 thoughts on “Restarting X and the GNOME window manager on Linux hosts”

  1. Just a slight terminology clarification: GNOME is not a window manager, but a desktop environment. The window-managing component of GNOME is (currently) “metacity”. The X ‘magic process’ in GNOME’s case is the session manager ‘gnome-session’. I think similar applies for KDE.

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