Recovering from a Display Problem

Occasionally you may run into a display problem of one type or another. This could be when the display locks up or gets scrambled in some way. Symptoms may include some or all of the following:

  • The display becomes scrambled and looks like snow or interference on a TV. Nothing you do changes this.
  • The display simply locks up. The mouse pointer may move but clicking on anything produces no results. I like to keep the KDE clock running and I configure it to display the seconds. If the clock does not advance then the display is definitely locked up.
  • Some things work, but you cannot logout or switch to an alternate virtual terminal.

The resolution to all of these and probably other display problems as well is usually simple.  Press Ctrl+Alt+Backspace and release. This will restart the Display Manager. All of your applications will be closed and you will have to login again.

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