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sometimes my gnome shell gets a weird bug. What I need to do then is to click e.g Ctrl + Alt + F3 When I am there i can login and then

killall gnome-shell

Then I go back to the first Ctrl + Alt + F1 (what do you call them tty1, tty2, tty3 ... )

back there I can sometimes open a terminal and enter:


but sometimes it doesn't work, like now, because the browser window has the focus and no other windows has, and I can't start gnome-shell from the browser, so that's why I am asking the question now :) .

The thing that I have tried is to export the display when I am in the tty2 or tty3, not the one with graphics in

export DISPLAY=:0.0

but I guess that the :0.0 display isn't the main display?, anyway I can at least start the gnome-shell but it results in an error. It is not the can't find an X display error, but another one that has something to do with the top-bar and the extensions.

Does anyone know how to start the gnome-shell from another "tty" thing?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Please try

$ DISPLAY=:0 gnome-shell

Also you should take a look at your ~/.xsession-errors, finding out as to why gnome-shell crashed. Maybe you can even do a backtrace and report a bug.

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When gnome-shell starts behaving oddly you can also do the following.

  1. Switch to another console Ctrl + Alt + F2
  2. login using the same account that's running the desktop
  3. Run the command pkill -HUP gnome-shell

Once the above kill has taken effect, gnome-shell will automatically restart itself.

share|improve this answer
does not work for me :( – jk_ Apr 28 '14 at 7:22

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