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Often I cannot perform a soft shutdown or restart. The desktop might sound the console error sound once and then nothing happens. I end up having to use the pushbutton momentary switch, holding it depressed until a shutdown happens. I've had this problem for months. There is no particular discernible cause. The problem is not well correlated with the number or kind of apps that have been run. Typical use: Eclipse IDE, Transmission, Firefox browser, gedit, and occasionally OpenOffice.

What should I check to resolve this problem? I'm thinking of wiping the disk and reinstalling but a little annoyed because I would have to first check the quality of my backup (boring).

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I recently had this issue too on Kubuntu 11.04. Symptomps: the desktop shades as usual, but the actual logout or shutdown action is not performed. I think it has something do with the sound device being taken over (in my case by knotify4) because my sound dissappeared too before I run in this kind of issues. –  Lekensteyn Sep 15 '11 at 9:24
    
there's an ancient bug in debian that causes a 5 minute delay on shutdown when you are connected to a CIFS or SMBFS. to test if this is the issue you are having, run sudo umount -a before shutdown and see if it works this time –  Dirk Hartzer Waldeck Sep 15 '11 at 15:20

2 Answers 2

I don't know of any permanent fix to this, but if you are running gnome, the usual workaround I had to use on my father's laptop was to run gnome-panel --replace before shutting down.

  • alt+f2 gnome-panel --replace
  • Click shutdown from the indicator as usual.
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I reinstalled and that resolved the problem.

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