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I am using my backup computer as a server. It's running Debian and I want to kill everything gnome related to save memory. I'm accessing remotely through ssh.

Any ideas?

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By "killing" you mean disabling for a moment, or removing it entirely? – slhck Oct 12 '12 at 9:13
Disabling for a moment. Shutting it down, if you will. – CptAJ Oct 12 '12 at 9:16
which debian release is it? – artistoex Oct 12 '12 at 9:30
It's debian 6.0.4 – CptAJ Oct 12 '12 at 9:40
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Your Gnome Desktop Manager Session is running in the Xserver. Both are just normal services (daemons) your system is starting at boot.

It seems, that X is a child-Process of the Desktop Manager in Debian/Ubuntu. So you have to stop that one (On Debian this might be gdm, on Ubuntu ligthdm) You can stop gdm for this session by using its init-script, with sudo or as root:

/etc/init.d/gdm3 stop

Or you can remove it from the list of daemons started:

update-rc.d <daemon> disable


If you are not sure which desktop manager is in use, you can either look for the scripts in /etc/init.d/ or you can type

ps -eF | grep dm

to search for all running processes containing "dm" (this might yield much more than just your dm though).

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No, that didn't work. Still running like normal. – CptAJ Oct 12 '12 at 9:22
Ah I see, I just tried it. The thing is, if you stop a service, its "children" will be stopped too. I thought it was X -> gdm/lightdm -> gnome/other. You have to stop the login manager process. It depends on your Debian version. For Ubuntu and Raspbian its lightdm, but I guess you will see a script called "gdm" in /etc/init.d/. That's the one. /etc/init.d/gdm stop – Benjamin Maurer Oct 12 '12 at 9:28
There we go! /etc/init.d/gdm3 stop did the trick. Thanks! – CptAJ Oct 12 '12 at 9:42
But it will come back after a restart. For a server, I would deactivate the service with update-rc.d – Benjamin Maurer Oct 12 '12 at 9:51
Could you edit your answer to include the working commands? – slhck Oct 12 '12 at 10:29

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