How to stop gnome from forcing me to logoff / logout?

From time to time my Gnome 3 shell or some parts of it are crashing. Gnome sees a time out and is forcing the user to logout without other possibilities.

“Oh no! Something has gone wrong.” See superuser for a screenshot. (Fail whale is providing this dialog.)

Is there a way to stop gnome from doing that? Since the other programs are still running and working fine… In my case its clearly a timeout, since a scientific analysis eats up all memory and after its done Gnome has a hard time to recover.

(I experienced also these crashes, when I was using some (combination of) extensions which are buggy. In that case the probably only or best solution is to not use those extensions… also considering the posts I’ve read about this.)

Asked By: PythoNic

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Thanks to Ruslan’s comment (upvote!) and some testing I probably found a solution for the next real case:

  1. Try ALT+F4, or clicking somewhere on the "fail whale" message (to get the focus) and then ALT+F4
  2. If 1 doesnt work: go to a tty and type DISPLAY=:0 gnome-shell --replace and then go back to Gnome and try ALT+F4 again. It should work now. Caution: won’t work in newer versions of Gnome.

Some background:

There are 2 cases. If gnome-session has crashed, ALT+F4 won’t work (since it provides the window frames and all of its functions). If gnome-settings-daemon has crashed, then ALT+F4 still works, but your windows might look a bit different.

Answered By: PythoNic
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