My computer has an issue where it starts freezing on and off and whatever program is active pegs the CPU. I have to reboot to fix it, restarting the program e.g. Firefox doesn't work.

Is there a way I can power cycle as much of the hardware as possible without actually rebooting? Can I unload and load all the drivers?

  • 3
    Maybe it would be better to fix the freezing issues rather than try to get around a known working solution to the symptom (freezing is a symptom, not the actual problem).
    – acejavelin
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 19:45
  • use kexec reboot Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 20:39
  • @acejavelin I've tried this with no luck. It's not a specific process that causes the freezing so I don't know where to go next.
    – Qgenerator
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 1:30

1 Answer 1


You can unload many drivers and OS components by changing the run level of the system. On sysV systems the command init x was used to change to run level x, but systemd based systems have a different 'init' implementation.

If you have a systemd based system they have provided the telinit xcommand to provide equivalent capability.

Run levels are defined as

0 Halt Shuts down system.

1 Single-User Mode Does not configure network. interfaces, start daemons, or allow non-root logins.

2 Multiuser Mode Does not configure network interfaces or start daemons.

3 Multi-User Mode with Networking Starts the system normally.

4 Undefined Not used/User-definable.

5 X11 As runlevel 3 + display. manager(X).

6 Reboot Reboots the system.

Switch to run level 1 then back to 5

telinit 1
telinit 5
  • This is a good answer but I'm hoping for something that doesn't kill all my processes or I may as well perform a normal restart.
    – Qgenerator
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 1:35
  • 1
    Switching between runlevel 3 and 5 will a good first pass - if it fixes it look at what processes and drivers (lsmod) were unloaded. Once you have that list you can unload them one by one to find the offending program or driver.
    – Argonauts
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 3:18
  • Switching between 3 and 5 seems to have no effect.
    – Qgenerator
    Commented Dec 17, 2016 at 0:10

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