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If I login on my Ubuntu PC and logout immediately, the system sometimes hangs.

The background screen and icons are displayed and I can even use the mouse to activate the icons and launch programs, but the logout does not proceed - the system appears to be stuck.

There is one workaround: If I hit CTRL-ALT-DELETE, I'm asked if I want to logout and told that the system will log me out in 60 seconds.

This workaround is fine from me, but the freeze is somewhat confusing for my users. Does anyone know what causes this and how to avoid it? My guess is some kind of timing issue with Unity, but that is only a guess. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Best way to force a reboot/system halt is to ctrl + alt +F(1-6) and then give the three finger salute to reboot, or login to tty, and issue a sudo shutdown -n

Note: The three finger salute refers to a ctrl + alt + del

As to fixing your problem, what wm do you use, video hardware (Nvidia Or ATI) Some wm dont like certain drivers, but its been sometime since ive had this issue. Check your autostart, and make sure it doesnt call any nonexistant programs, and lastly it is always a good idea to wait till your machine is done "grinding" (reading our hdd) before telling it to do something else.

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Thanks. :) I'm not actually trying to shutdown the computer, only to logout to the main screen. So for that the three finger salute, as you call it, is fine. However, our computers are displayed in public where many users come and go and are asked to logout, and this issue is confusing. – Carsten Agger Sep 30 '13 at 12:28
As to the window manager, it's Unity, i.e. standard Ubuntu 12.04. The graphics card is ATI, Radeon 3000 series with no proprietary drivers. – Carsten Agger Sep 30 '13 at 12:30

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