I've launched into X using startx, but now can't shutdown my pi, as I have no mouse, and I can't seem to access anything with the keyboard alone. What can I do?


5 Answers 5


Try pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1.

This will switch you to a different tty. After logging in on this you can run commands as normal

Any F key under 6 will do.

  • 1
    This switched out to the console running X, I could then terminate X with ctrl-c and shutdown the machine.
    – Tom Medley
    Jun 20, 2012 at 9:41
  • @TomMedley Glad I could help.
    – Jivings
    Jun 20, 2012 at 10:02
  • This is a bit of a sledge hammer solution I think.
    – Skizz
    Sep 7, 2012 at 9:15
  • @Skizz It's the only solution that will work in any session.
    – Jivings
    Sep 7, 2012 at 14:10
  • I'd be surprised if the system key or alt didn't work, but I haven't tried this.
    – JFA
    Jul 10, 2015 at 14:41

Why not stop it with sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm stop

  • I doubt that that would be possible, unless there was a terminal window open, and currently focused when the mouse was removed. Sep 17, 2012 at 18:19
  • If there is no window manager, decorator, etc. it means that startx didn't launch lightdm. Then lightdm status is not set as started/running and thus it can't be stopped with sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm stop
    – Avio
    Sep 27, 2012 at 20:51

Try Ctrl+Alt+Backspace.

This will kill the running X server.

  • 4
    This doesn't work by default on recent versions of X.
    – Jivings
    Jun 20, 2012 at 7:25
  • I wasn't sure to be honest! Jun 20, 2012 at 8:10
  • No harm done. It's still useful to know. Some Window Managers re-enable it.
    – Jivings
    Jun 20, 2012 at 8:38
  • @Jivings If I remember correctly, raspi-config actually allows to enable it. Feb 7, 2014 at 20:36

Pressing Ctrl+Esc brings up the 'start' menu (for want of a better word) and then you can use the arrow keys to select 'logout'.

Which is the same as Windows - if you've not got a Windows key then Ctrl+Esc does the same thing (OK, a bit off topic but thought I'd make sure everyone understood I wasn't just thinking it was Windows and that it also works on the default Pi desktop).

  • However, this is dependant on the display manager, whereas my solution will work in any X session.
    – Jivings
    Sep 7, 2012 at 14:09

If sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm stop works, then make bash script in /bin:

$ cd /bin
$ sudo nano stopx

In the new file insert the following code:

sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm stop

save and exit nano, i.e. Ctrl+x and then Enter

Make the file executable:

$ chmod +x stopx

Finally one may use stopx as opposite of startx!

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