Is there a cheatsheet for linux commands to save your system?

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Problem :

I’ve recently lost my window options, had to somehow manipulate my way to Xchat and ask some people how do I get it back (it was metacity --replace, and after I decided to stop the command and run it in background the X was completely useless so I had to do killall -u user).
And that was after the internet connection stopped working for some reason (might’ve been the ISP).

The thing is, after using linux a long time, I still get the feeling
that on dire situations, I don’t know the good tricks (stuff like metacity --replace).
I feel like a really need like a “rescue” cheatsheet for things like:

  • how to save the X no matter what without pressing reset
  • how to reset the system to “normal state”
  • how to connect to the internet through the command line
  • how to monitor what the X is doing
    (using ubuntu linux 10.04 btw)

Solution :


If it’s working: Ctrl-Alt-Backspace.

Ctrl-Alt-F[1-6] go to terminal.

Ctrl-Alt-F7 – go to X

Restart XDM in most distros:

/etc/init.d/xdm restart

Or find X processes PIDs

ps aux|grep "[Xx]"

and kill them. Then start new X


X logs: /var/log/Xorg.0.log


Using dhcp:

dhclient interface 

Interface could be eth0.

ifconfig ...



(see man for more)

Not sure how Ubuntu works, but i think you can restart your network connecting using some kind of /etc/init.d script.
Check server guide. Not sure, but I think that works for desktop edition too.

Other stuff

Useful terminal programs:

  • lynx,links – internet browsers
  • irssi – IRC client
  • mc – file manager
  • mcedit – simplest file editor ever
  • GNU and system utils – basic like: cat, tail, head, cp, rm, mv – must know!
  • top, ps – display Linux tasks
  • free – memory usage (but remember to look at buffors table, not mem)
  • man 🙂

Magic Resq Key

Wikibooks Freezes

I’m a programmer, so I use git daily.

I have found git very useful for monitoring changes (and eventually restoring in emergency cases) changes in config files.


On my Ubuntu 10.04 LTS I do:

sudo /etc/init.d/network-manager restart


sudo service network-manager restart

I know this isn’t exactly what your looking for, but I found this .pdf to be a good resource for figuring out ubuntu. (Plus its free…which is always nice.)

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