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I've been using ubuntu 12.04 for 3 weeks. Today it become unresponsive and I lost stuff I was working on, I had the hand displayed, as if I selected something but in fact never did, but was reading an article online. I finally powered down the machine and then turned it back on. In windows there is the Task Manager where one can see whats taking up all your CPU or RAM, is there a such a program in ubuntu 12.04 and if not, can I install a app that has the same use?

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There are multiple things you can use for a "task manager". The most popular on the command line probably is htop. In graphical mode, there is e.g. the Gnome Session Manager. For QT you will find qps, and KDE4 also has a built-in graphical tool which comes up on pressing Ctrl-Esc.

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I got this issue sorted today by pressing ctrl+alt+any arrow key, to change to a different window and then pressing enter. This put me on a "new" desktop, from where I was able to get my system under control again, although it took time, I didn't lose any of my work

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