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Possibly recover from a freeze without a reboot
Authored by: gaoshan on Feb 08, '06 12:45:54PM
I have used ssh to get into a frozen mac but often you do not have to do a reboot. If you run the unix command "top" you can see which applications are running. If one is causing the freeze-up it will often show a huge cpu usage. Killing that process will often free up the computer. Here are the commands:
  1. Remote Login must already be enabled on the Mac. Just leave it on all the time, it is useful and secure.
  2. From another machine (Mac, Linux, Windows... they can all do this):
    ssh root@
    root is whatever username you use and the ip address is whatever your machine is actually on.
  3. top -o cpu
    this will list everything running on the machine in order of cpu usage. Note the PID (Process ID) number on the far left.
  4. kill -9 2294
    where 2294 is the actual PID of the thing you want to stop. kill stops a process and -9 simply means "no excuses... kill it no matter what".
If that doesn't free up your machine you could try killing the Finder (get it's PID using top... it should restart on it's own) and if THAT doesn't do it then do the reboot.

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Possibly recover from a freeze without a reboot
Authored by: jdv on Feb 09, '06 11:48:01AM
Most people won't need to get the pid's, but can just use killall. For example to kill the Finder, do
killall -9 Finder
This could cause trouble on a multi user machine, so be careful if other people are logged in. On the other hand if your desktop is frozen, odds are all other processes are frozen too...

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