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How can i minimize a fullscreen application? Alt-F9 does not seem to have any effect on fullscreen windows.

More specifically, I'm running Boxee in fullscreen on Ubuntu 10.10. And when Boxee hangs, I want to minimize the window so I can kill it.

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Full screen applications take full control over the input, so alt-f9 is never received.If it's frozen,you wont be able to minimize it. – karthick87 Dec 19 '10 at 19:53
up vote 6 down vote accepted

You have a few options for a frozen full screen app :

  • Go to a virtual terminal (CTRL-ALT-F1), issue your killall command on the offending process, then switch back to the GUI (CTRL-ALT-F7).


  • Create a hot-key to switch to another virtual desktop. You should be able to do that by going to system/preferences/Keyboard Shortcuts. Then scroll down to Window Management and create a hotkey for "Switch to Workspace x".

and my favourite :

  • Still in Keyboard Shortcuts, click the "Add" button, then put "xkill" as the command, and give it a name like "Kill Window", then assign something like CTRL-ALT-D. Next time your Boxee crashes, hit CTRL-ALT-D on your keyboard, then click your mouse button. Since it's fullscreen, the click should kill Boxee.
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the click should not be needed with most applications. – RolandiXor Dec 19 '10 at 22:27
The click is needed if you run xkill without any arguments. At least, it's needed if you run it the way I've described. – Scaine Dec 19 '10 at 22:51

If boxee hangs, you might be able to switch to another tty. To do that use:

ctrl+alt+f1 (or f2->12)

once you are on a tty, login using your username and password. Now type

killall boxee or sudo killall boxee (you will need to type your password if you use sudo).

(guessing this is the name of the boxee executable as I don't use boxee), and press enter. If it does not complain, and returns you to a prompt, press

ctrl+alt+f7 (or f9, though it could be another tty where your desktop is located)

To return to your desktop.

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