Yesterday, I mentioned a problem that I’ve been having with GNOME 3 on Ubuntu 11.10.
Essentially what happens is that when I leave my desktop for a while, under specific circumstances, and often, on returning and moving the mouse or using the keyboard, the pointer would come back on screen. However, this only works on one of my two screens.
The unlock dialog does not show up and it seems that there is no way to get back in.
In the past, I would log into the terminal (Ctrl-Alt-F1 or any function key through to F5 or so) and
$ kill -9 -1
This would of course kill all processes owned by me and is therefore unpleasant at best and have you losing a bunch of work at worst.
After a brainwave yesterday (as detailed in the aforementioned post), I decided to check the status of the screensaver and killed just those processes. Happily, this gives me my desktop back. However, my gnome-shell had given up which I had to restart
$ gnome-shell --replace
Unfortunately, I did not get the windows into the original workspaces since everything just got dumped into the one workspace but it is better than having to kill everything off.
EDIT: I just realised that the screen saver of course no longer kicks in and I had to restart it
$ gnome-screensaver --no-daemon