Feature Request: The Click of Death

Hi. I’m a regular Gnome 3 user and for the most part, I’m fairly content with my user experience. You guys do a fantastic job, and I’m rather pleased by the absence of “feature creep”.

One problem that I do encounter very regularly though is that when I’m using a browser (usually with various videos loaded and one of them playing in the background or something) there is a tendency for the page I’m looking at to freeze the entire browser, then entire operating system. I could be wrong, but I have a hunch that the reason that this happens is that the libraries for video streaming and things like opengl have “peepholes” through the window server by which they talk to the graphics hardware directly, and thus the window manager has to compete with other programs for control of the graphics device. The only solutions right now are to wait 5-10 minutes for Linux to realize that the program has stopped responding and offer me an out, to do a hard reboot by holding the power switch, or using Alt+PrtSc+REISUB to soft-reboot.

What I would really, REALLY like is to have a feature I call the “Click of Death”. Basically, when you triple-click the close button on any window, the parent process is immediately terminated without question or confirmation. No sending a window close/delete event. Just instant death.

This should be a fairly simple feature to implement and would save me a tremendous amount of time and frustration. It’s also something that I feel like most users would have an inherent expectation and understanding of. Triple/quadruple/quintiple/etc clicking the close button is what a frustrated user does when they’re screaming at their computer to just close a frickin program already, before slamming their fists on the keyboard, launching their laptop into the nearest wall, and shattering it into half a dozen pieces.

Have mercy, and respect the wishes of the user. Grant me the click of death.

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You can improve responsiveness by disabling disk swap and replacing it with swap on zram, which should handle OOM issues more smoothly.

Yeah it sounds much more likely that like you’re just running out of memory and have swap enabled. That’s a very common problem and your symptoms match up exactly. You’d know for sure if you were running System Monitor at the time you encountered a problem. (There is no such thing as an OpenGL “peephole” and certainly no limit on how many applications can use your graphics hardware at once.)

Thing is, even this is not going to work, because even “instant” death is not going to kick in until your system has recovered from swapping, which could take half an hour or more. If you want your desktop to be responsive you must ensure that you do not have any swap on disk. Additionally, make sure your distro enables uresourced (currently I believe only Fedora does this) as this daemon helps manage desktop responsiveness.

That’s the standard advice. No guarantees that it will fully solve your problem, but make sure to check those boxes first. Those are currently the only significant differences between distros that optimize for desktop responsiveness vs. those that don’t.

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