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Author Topic: What is the ctrl-alt-del and does it exist in other OSs?  (Read 2250 times)
jgpaiva
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« on: July 11, 2012, 04:05:56 AM »

As a Mac user, and former Linux and Windows user, I really miss having ctrl-alt-del available (you may think "why do you need ctrl-alt-del in a mac? the OS is perfect and never crashes!" and I must answer: "my friend, stop drinking so much kool-aid, it's hurting your brain"). My problem is that even though both mac and linux have a myriad of ways of listing the processes and killing them, when the computer is hung up they don't seem to respond in the same way as ctrl-alt-del in Windows does.
Allow me to clarify: I have this (possibly romantic) idea that when my computer was hung up in windows, pressing ctrl-alt-del would bring up the dialog (which sort of depends on the version of the OS, it used to be only the process manager but I believe it evolved to something else in the meanwhile) even if no other process would start or advance at all. This is the crucial difference: from what I understand, the process managers and such in mac and linux are just yet another process, which being treated as such may not start at all (or take two days to do so, if the computer is really hung up), whereas in Windows the process manager always comes up fairly quickly unless in the case where there has been a serious crash and reset is the only solution.

What is your say in this? Am I being too romantic and the process manager in windows is exactly the same in any other OS, is there something to objectively differentiate it, or am I using the wrong process managers in mac/linux? smiley
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 04:55:19 AM »

For MacOS applications try Cmd/Alt/Escape
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 06:33:23 AM »

Not to nit-pick, but actually Ctrl+Alt+Delete is the SAS (Security Attention Sequence) which does allow access to TaskMan, but is really a speed menu for user account related stuff. The (direct Windows) TaskMan shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+Escape ... Which is actually surprisingly close to Carol's Mac tip above.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 07:33:41 AM »

Not to nit-pick, but actually Ctrl+Alt+Delete is the SAS (Security Attention Sequence) which does allow access to TaskMan, but is really a speed menu for user account related stuff. The (direct Windows) TaskMan shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+Escape ... Which is actually surprisingly close to Carol's Mac tip above.
Yep, that's why I mentioned that it changed somewhere along the line and tried (without success) to avoid using the words "process manager".
But that's exactly the kind of details I'm looking for. From what I understand, this SAS triggers some special running environment (similar to what the UAC prompt does?). How does that affect the responsiveness of the key shortcut?
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Renegade
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 07:44:23 AM »

Oooh~! A few goodies I didn't know before! smiley Thanks!
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 08:16:51 AM »

For MacOS applications try Cmd/Alt/Escape
Oooh~! A few goodies I didn't know before! smiley Thanks!
You're right, I forgot to thank Carol, I think that will come in handy soon! smiley
Thanks Carol!
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40hz
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 08:29:12 AM »

Look for the Keyboard Shortcuts control panel (or settings) available in most Linux distros. In Linux you can program virtually any key or key combo to do anything you want. Cool
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 08:38:45 AM »

Look for the Keyboard Shortcuts control panel (or settings) available in most Linux distros. In Linux you can program virtually any key or key combo to do anything you want. Cool
I do understand that if I want to go through the hassle, I can make linux machines kill processes while doing backflips and eating bananas. tongue
My question isn't so much related with how one can trigger the killing of processes, what I'm asking is if ctrl-alt-del has any "special treatment" in Windows (is it launched in a highest-priority-possible process?) that causes it to be more responsive than launching a regular process, and if so, if there's something (out of the box?) equivalent in other OSs. It seems to me that when I used Windows, my experience when trying to kill processes was much better. As a simple example, when my mac hangs up, just doing alt-tab to get to the process manager is a terrible pain that takes 10minutes, but I can't remember the Windows ctrl-alt-del taking 10minutes to answer (again, it may very well be that I just hate OSX so much that I'm creating false memories of the time I used Windows smiley )
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 08:47:24 AM »

(I could have done this before  embarassed) Just went to read up on wikipedia about it. Looks like linux has this cool stuff: Magic SysRq keyw, which appears to have a low level effect (kernel level) similar to ctrl-alt-del. In particular, sysreq + k seems to do something useful:
Kill all processes on the current virtual console (Can be used to kill X and svgalib programs, see below)
This was originally designed to imitate a Secure Access Key
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40hz
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 12:06:29 PM »

@jgpavia - On many PCs it also works as a hardware-based low-level system hook in BIOS. (Wait for your BIOS splash screen and then hit CTRL-ALT-DEL before your OS starts booting. Most PCs will do a hard reboot if you do.)

So the 'three finger salute' can operate on many different levels ranging from BIOS to kernal to OS depending on the machine and the OS.

It's one of those seemingly simple questions that doesn't have a simple answer once you get beyond "what it does" and start looking at exactly how it goes about doing it.

P.S. Thx for the Wikipedia link. It's a very good article. Much better in places than digging through actual manuals for the same info. Thmbsup
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zridling
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 08:56:26 PM »

CTRL+ALT+DEL opens the Logout, Restart, Turn Off dialog for openSUSE Linux.
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 09:51:25 PM »

Magic SysRq key

Reboot Even If System Utterly Broken Wink
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