Recovery from cinnamon crashes and freezes in Linux Mint

Here is a useful command that I use to recover from a freeze or crash in the cinnamon desktop.

Update: since this post was made a better way of recovering cinnamon is with the following commands:

If you cinnamon crashes or freezes on you, go to tty1 (ctrl-alt-f1), login and then run this command:

If your DISPLAY is not :0.0 type w in shell to find out.

Once this is done press ctrl-alt-f7 to return to the desktop.


13 thoughts on “Recovery from cinnamon crashes and freezes in Linux Mint

  • Isaac says:

    This doesn’t actually work for me. I drop to tty1 and run that command, but it just sits there indefinitely. Does it definitely still work for you?

    • Greg Freeman says:

      When you drop to tty1 what is the output of the ‘w’ command? In mint 13 most people are using mate display manager. So you could just use sudo service mdm restart from tty1.

  • ilya says:

    alias cinnamon-restart=’cinnamon –replace -d :0.0 > /dev/null 2>&1 &’

    in my .bash_aliases makes it faster: crtl-alt-1, login, cinnamon-restart, ctrl-alt-7

  • Jigar Shah says:

    I am new bee to Linux Mint and Cinnamon.

    I installed it on Core I7 Processor with DH67BL mother board. It works fine when i am working but suddenly some thing happens and my desktop resets to some other theme then cinnamon.

    At times if machine is idle for(1-2 hours). cinnamon crashes. This is usual beaviour! Or there is a bug.

    but with cinnamon –reset i can recover it. But its annoying.

    Are you aware about such problem.


  • Sean says:

    I’m running Mint 14 64bit with Cinnamon.

    Occasionally it seems like the desktop crashes (all menus etc and borders to windows etc disappear)

    I can get into tty1 by doing Ctrl Alt F1

    Then I see the following

    Linux Mint 14 Nadia sean-ZBOXNANO-AD10 tty1
    sean-ZBOXNANO-AD10 login:

    If I then type in my login name I get this :-

    [709876.535138] end_request: i/O error, dev sda, sector 84160055

    This only stays on screen for a few seconds and the numbers in the square brackets change each time

    Any idea what is wrong?



  • Mahony says:

    Recently moved away from Gnome3 (which only allows to change wallpaper by following crazy how-to manuals) and installed Cinnamon. Really love it, so much faster. But occasionally I do get a freeze which is now quickly solved by this trick.
    I will not look back at Gnome3, Cinnamon is so much faster, intuitive and non-intrusive that I am glad to have moved to Cinnamon and even allow the very occasional freeze. Especially with alias it is solved quickly and gives me less hazzle than Gnome3 ever gave me.

  • Parag P says:

    Had a similar problem with fresh install of Mint 15.
    dmesg shows nouveau error (“fail ttm_validate”) — fixed by installing the proprietary nVidia drivers:
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

    If this does not work for you, try
    sudo pkill -SIGHUP cinnamon
    instead of –replace as suggested earlier. This will merely redraw all windows. But browser downloads tend to get prematurely terminated in my case.

  • G says:

    Sounds like hardware problem, maybe with hard disk.

  • shishirvarde says:


    when i press Ctrl+Alt+F1 a black window appears which asks me for log in, but after entering the id and password,,,,,,,

    it says log in id incorrect, this repeats again and again,

    Actually my cinnamon crashes while playing Banshee.pls guide me i am new to linux mint 16

  • nhoxsang2411994 says:

    Hi! Sorry for my bad English, i’m using mint kde 16 32bit

    i’m getting this issue too, every time i change my Window Decoration(my themes) and reboot, everything freezes when i log in. I noticed that if i log out(ctrl alt f1), after that i change the current language to any other one, log in, everything is fine again, but the issue is still there, change back to original theme fixes this as well. Anyone knows how to fix this?

  • Drumsal says:

    I had the same issue while changing themes and some settings in DE (Cinnamon on Mint 17 Qiana). I was sure I was not facing a hw problem and by googling I found this solution that worked in my case (from

    sudo rm -rf .local/share/cinnamon
    sudo rm -rf .cinammon
    sudo reboot

    thanks to all of you!

  • Cinnamon has been crashing for years, on many versions of Mint – totally bug ridden…

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