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I'm using a vmware virtual machine running ubuntu linux and from there I connect to a Windows XP machine using rdesktop through a VPN tunnel. This configuration is given and cannot be changed.

From time to time my internet connection does a reconnect. Then the running rdesktop (running in fullscreen mode) process freezes and isn't usable anymore. Now I want to return to the underlying linux and restart the rdesktop process. But I'm not able to get out of fullscreen rdesktop mode and so I cannot access the ubuntu desktop to kill any process.

My solution is to reboot the vmware and start the rdesktop again.

Is there a better way to get the configuration running again after a freeze?


I have no admin rights for the linux system. Everything must be done with user rights.

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Turn on the X escape hatch:

$ gnome-keyboard-properties

and then Layouts ➤ Options... ➤ Key sequence to kill the X server ➤ enable.

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Ctrl-Alt-Enter doesn't work?

How about switching to a different virtual console using Ctrl-Alt-F1, logging in, and killing your rdesktop process?

Or, ssh to your Ubuntu machine from your host OS and killing it that way?

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Ctrl-Alt-Enter switches the vm from fullscreen to window mode, but I can't get a terminal, because rdesktop fills all the screen. – tangens Oct 3 '09 at 14:34
Ctrl-Alt-F1 doesn't work, don't know why. Even when no rdesktop is startet. – tangens Oct 3 '09 at 14:36
sshd isn't enabled, so I can't connect this way. – tangens Oct 3 '09 at 14:40
Can you not resize the un-fullscreen'd rdesktop window? – wfaulk Oct 3 '09 at 16:43
rdesktop is frozen and doesn't react to any action. – tangens Oct 3 '09 at 19:33

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