When I launch an application / a game and while I'm using it, it hangs up and I can't quit to return to desktop by Alt+Tab or something like this.

I want to return to desktop, open a terminal and kill the app / game.

Do you have any solution?

2 Answers 2


You can open a TTY by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1.

It'll look like a terminal, just login as usual with your login name and password.

Then two options to stop the game:

  • type ps -aef to identify the process id of your game (it should be one of the last entries) and kill it with kill -9 <pid>
  • type pkill <game name>

Once the game process is killed, you can reopen the Desktop session by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7. (Note that opening a TTY did not stop or close your active sesssion)

  • 1
    May be better use kill -15 instead
    – c0rp
    Oct 14, 2014 at 10:55
  • @c0rp maybe if the game is still responsive, but I agree that sending SIGTERM before SIGKILL is a good idea. Oct 14, 2014 at 11:01

You can use the Ubuntu "Desktop" shortcut. Press Ctrl+Super+d on your keyboard.

  • 1
    What if one doesn't have a "super" key on the keyboard? Oct 14, 2014 at 14:03
  • 1
    The 'Super' key is (usually) the Windows key on a Windows keyboard, or the Command key on a Mac. There's also these options if your keyboard lacks any kind of Super key
    – Kai
    Oct 14, 2014 at 15:14

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