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Whenever I move/copy/rename a file using Nautilus, or download a file using Firefox, Gnome-Shell freezes for about 5 to 10 seconds. Only the mouse is still responsive, but I can't click or manipulate anything. This is immensely frustrating. I'm seeing no explicit error messages. I'm using Ubuntu 12.10. Is there anything I can do to fix this?

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This is a known problem in 12.10 that drove me nuts for a year. The problem is gone in 13.10. – Richard Ayotte Dec 27 '13 at 22:32

What you can do is try to reload gnome by running the following command in a terminal

DISPLAY=:0 gnome-shell --replace

once you run this command you press Ctrl-Alt-F7 and you GNOME will be up and running again :)

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