Howto: Linux Refresh all or an X screen Kde-Gnome desktop

Posted on in Categories Howto, Linux desktop, Troubleshooting, X server last updated September 19, 2006

Linux or UNIX desktop systems are quite stable. However, some time weird things happen like unreadable screen and confusing application causing massive screen messed up, which makes it difficult to read what is on the Linux desktop.

Generally, I have observed that most users prefer to hit CTRL+ALT+Back Space or just kills the X session. However, there is way to get rid of this problem.

xrefresh is a simple X command that causes all or part of your screen to be repainted. This is useful when system messages have messed up your screen. Xrefresh maps a window on top of the desired area of the screen and then immediately unmaps it, causing refresh events to be sent to all applications. By default, a window with no
background is used, causing all applications to repaint smoothly. However, the various options can be used to indicate that a solid background (of any color) or the root window background should be used instead.

Just type the xrefresh:
$ xrefresh

You can also pass -white and -black option to xrefresh command:
$ xrefresh -white
OR
$ xrefresh -black

Where,

  • -white: Use a white background. The screen just appears to flash quickly, and then repaint (this is a default).
  • -black: Use a black background (in effect, turning off all of the electron guns to the tube). This can be somewhat disorienting as everything goes black for a moment.

If refresh will not clear the X display consider using xkill to kill particular X application or kill your self i.e. kill user account.

I am not sure if there is any such a program exists for Windows XP desktop. If any one has information please share with us.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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