magic SysRq

Published on Feb. 9, 2007, 9:07 p.m.

Occasionally I goof up. Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, it's true. However, thanks to this handy tutorial on, I've learned about some nifty ways to kill things in linux.

In addition to the traditional ways to kill a process, this tutorial lists some magic SysRq key combinations that--if enabled in your kernel--can provide a nice option to just pulling the plug...
  • Alt+SysRq+K - Kills all processes (SIGKILL / kill -9)

  • Alt+SysRq+E - Terminates all processes (SIGTERM / kill -15)

  • Alt+SysRq+I - Interrupts all processes (SIGINT / kill -2)

  • Alt+SysRq+U - Force unmount and remount of all filesystems readonly

  • Alt+SysRq+S - Syncs all disks

  • Alt+SysRq+B - Reboots

(Note to self, and any other developers: When using a language without built-in garbage collection, don't forget to free up memory when you're done!)
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