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Is there any way to shut down the xserver on linux without root access? I tried ctrl-alt-f1. It seems there is still xserver running. Thank you.

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migrated from Jun 26 '11 at 22:01

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Try Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. – Greg Hewgill Jun 26 '11 at 21:58
.. and hope that it doesn't restart :) – yi_H Jun 26 '11 at 21:59


will usually kill the X-server.

Be aware that many linux distributions will automatically relaunch X.

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The X server will still run when you switch virtual consoles. You can even run multiple X servers, each on a different virtual console.

If you want it gone, you have two options:

  • kill the magic xinit process
  • kill the X server

If you kill the last process started out of ~/.xinitrc or the last process started via the display manager (xdm, gdm, kdm, lxdm, etc.), this will typically also ask the other processes to close, semi-gracefully, and might save some additional state.

If you kill the X server directly, all those clients will drastically lose their connection to the X server, and might not handle it well. But it can be an excellent tool to recover a broken or wedged X, and it is sure easier to type killall X rather than trying to figure out which process is the magic xinit process.

You can kill the X server from another virtual console or from ssh or telnet, or any other mechanism that will let you run a command killall X or send the X server process a signal.

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Of course, that requires superuser privileges, so your answer to the question asked has to be "No.". (-: – JdeBP Jun 27 '11 at 9:39
@JdeBP, for the last two paragraphs, yes; but killing the magic xinit/display manager process will also kill the running X. Whether or not it restarts X is a site configuration question. :) – sarnold Jun 27 '11 at 22:06
It's also part of what an answer must address. Notice that the questioner didn't ask how to kill X, but how to shut down X. – JdeBP Jun 28 '11 at 9:13

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