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Sometimes when I try to shut-down or restart, I get an error saying:

A program is still running: Unknown Not Responding

It gives three choices

  1. Lock Screen
  2. Cancel
  3. Reboot anyway (or Shutdown Anyway)

What should I look for?

If I could configure it to always assume that I want to shutdown anyway, then that would be great.


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closed as too localized by RolandiXor, James Feb 24 '12 at 18:41

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I don't know what application it is because it just says "Unknown Not Responding". – user5257 Jan 22 '11 at 14:16
That "sudo reboot in a terminal" sounds like a good idea. It doesn't happen all the time, but the next time it does I will try that. – user5257 Jan 23 '11 at 20:01
This question appears to be abandoned, if you are experiencing a similar issue please ask a new question with details pertaining to your problem. If you feel this question is not abandoned, please flag the question explaining that. :) – RolandiXor Feb 24 '12 at 17:31

Try running "xlsclients -a" (or "xlsclients -la" for more detail). The output is a little cryptic so you might consider installed a useful utility called wmctrl:

sudo apt-get install wmctrl

You can then run "wmctrl -lv" which will list the graphical apps running. What's nice about wmctrl is that the output includes the title of each graphical app so for example a firefox process might show up as "Ask Ubuntu - Stack Exchange - Mozilla Firefox".

The hex value included in the first column of the wmctrl output is the window ID. This can be used to kill an application using the standard xkill command which will look up the process id corresponding to the window ID and kill it. For example:

  xkill -id 0x024000e9
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This usually happens when there is an application still running and using the CPU. At the same time you do not close it and you restart or shutdown.

You have to wait for some time and it will close by itself until the process is finished - otherwise it means the application is not responding.

What is the name of the application that repeatedly does this?

Try to cancel it when you get this problem and try to run sudo reboot from terminal and edit your question to include the output - this may help in finding a solution.

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try to cancel it when you get this problem and try to run sudo reboot in the terminal and out the output of it it may help to solve the problem – aziz joh Jan 23 '11 at 1:28

As others have said, the command line commands sudo reboot and sudo halt, will always reboot or shutdown the computer without asking any questions. Those commands will send all running programs a TERMinate signal and shortly afterwards KILL any process, which did not already quit. This means that you will loose unsaved work (as if all programs crashed.) Therefore, you should only use sudo reboot after closing anything you care about. (Even if you have saved your work, applications are likely to have not yet updated their configuration files.)

The GUI shutdown command works differently by design. I does various checks prior to the actual shutdown:

  • Is any other user logged in?
  • Are any (GUI) applications running? (If yes, tell them to save all data and quit)

Only if the answers to the questions above is No, it will continue like sudo reboot. An application, which is busy (with saving or something else), is never forcibly stopped, unless you confirm to reboot anyway.

In your case, there appears to be a strange application still running. Ubuntu doesn't know its name ('Unknown') and the application does not responded to the "Quit+Save, because the user wants to reboot"-command. This should never happen, and as a safety measure, Ubuntu will not reboot.

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