How to fix Unity/Compiz freeze on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Sometimes while running Unity + compiz in precise (12.04), display manager hangs so that the mouse moves, but the keyboard allows to get to tty1. The recovery process is:

1. Ctl + Alt + F1 to get to tty1, then
2. Use “top” to check the compiz cpu use and get its pid, then sudo kill -9 , then
3. Perform “sudo service lightdm restart”, then
4. login to X-window environment

(Note that, if one doesn’t kill compiz, a new one will be loaded by lightdm, leaving the orphan compiz to use an entire cpu. And if you hit the problem and don’t kill the new compiz, you now have two cpus locked up.)


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