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Since a few weeks, Ubuntu freezes almost everytime when I shut it down.

I know it because the shutdown animation stops and nothing is responsive: Ctrl+Alt+Del or AltGr+Syst+reisub don't make any difference.

I have tried to look at various log files in /var/log but only INFO level message are logged.

My hope to solve this problem would be to do a verbose shutdown, one where I could see what's going on, and so what's causing the problem, so I could start solving it.

Therefore, as the title suggest it. Is there a way to see what's going on during shutdown? I could even go to the extreme of doing a step-by-step shutdown if this is the only way.

Thanks for any tips.

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I finally found out what was going on. I get a CPU soft lock-up between 2 process on shutdown: umount and java. Java is actually the Crashplan backup application. I've found out that they don't do proper shutdown (they're using init scripts but none for runlevels 0 or 6). The following fixed the problem: sudo update-rc.d -f crashplan remove ; sudo update-rc.d crashplan defaults 60 30 – Huygens Oct 28 '10 at 21:28
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Temporarily disable the slash screen

You can temporarily disable the splash screen and "quiet" mode by editing the boot command in GRUB:

  1. Reboot and hold Shift as the computer turns on. The GRUB menu should appear:

    GRUB menu

  2. Press e to edit the command for the first entry, then use the keyboard to delete the words quiet splash:

    GRUB command editor

  3. Press Ctrl+x to boot.

This setting will last until the next reboot.

Permanently disable the slash screen

You can make the change permanent by modifying /etc/default/grub. Comment out this line:


and add this one:


Run sudo update-grub and then reboot to make the changes take effect.

Warning: If you mess up this file your computer may not be able to boot up again. Let someone here know if you're not sure how to make the modification.

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OK, i'll do that. Perhaps instead of modifying it for good, I can just edit the grub prompt live, so if I make a mistake, I just have to restart the computer and I'm fine again. – Huygens Oct 11 '10 at 20:50
That is an excellent idea. – ændrük Oct 11 '10 at 20:52
I've done several start and shutdown, and your trick is exactly what I was looking for. Though sadly for me, my computer refuses to crash now that I can control it ;-) Thanks for the help! – Huygens Oct 11 '10 at 21:47
Just so that it's mentioned here: You can 'edit grub live' by holding down shift while booting up and pressing e having selected the entry you want to modify. – Stefano Palazzo Feb 3 '11 at 18:56
Thanks, I've edited the answer to include this now. – ændrük Feb 3 '11 at 19:49

When shutting down, enter tty1 by pressing ctrl + alt + F1, and then from there shut down the desktop manager.

sudo service gdm stop

or if you're using 11.10, then

sudo service lightdm stop

then shut down the computer by running

sudo halt

Now you should see all the infos.

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