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I have a laptop running Ubuntu and XBMC for my parents can use. Occasionally, XBMC will freeze and they have no way of restarting XBMC. The desktop is unresponsive.

If this was on Windows, my parents would hit ctrl-alt-del, kill XBMC, and reopen it. If this was me, I'd drop into shell and run pkill xbmc.

I need a method my parents can use on Ubuntu. Restarting the laptop every time XBMC freezes is not an option.

I tried running xkill, but it complained that it can't grab cursor. I rebound Task Monitor to ctrl-alt-del, but it doesn't work when the system is locked up.

I'm open to any suggestions.

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You say the desktop is completely unresponsive, so the only way to fix it would be to drop into the shell. You could make an alias for pkill xmbc so they could type something easier though. –  Seth Jan 8 '13 at 1:19

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