Fix Ctrl-Alt-Backspace problem with Ubuntu 9.10+

datePosted on 13:58, October 31st, 2009 by Many Ayromlou

Downloaded and installed 9.10 yesterday and what do you know, someone decided to take away Ctrl-Alt-Backspace — or what I call “Three Finger Salute for Linux”. Whhhaaattt!!!!

How the heck are you supposed to kill and restart X without that…..A coworker suggested Alt-PrintScreen-K, but that just restarts GDM, not really useful when X decides to go south. Damit!!
The reason given on Ubuntu wiki is that “This is due to the fact that DontZap is no longer an option in the X server and has become an option in XKB instead.”
Well, fear not, whoever disabled it also created a easy way to reenable it again. Here is what you do:

  • In Gnome (Ubuntu):

    * Get to the System->Preferences->Keyboard menu.
    * Select the "Layouts" tab and click on the "Layout Options" button.
    * Then select "Key sequence to kill the X server" and enable "Control + Alt + Backspace".
  • In KDE (Kubuntu):
    * Launch "systemsettings"
    * Select "Regional & Language".
    * Select "Keyboard Layout".
    * Click on "Enable keyboard layouts" (in the Layout tab).
    * Select the "Advanced" tab. Then select "Key sequence to kill the X server" and enable "Control + Alt + Backspace".
  • Using Command-Line:
    You can type the following command to enable Zapping immediately.

    setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp

    If you're happy with the new behaviour you can add that command to your ~/.xinitrc in order to make the change permanent.
  • Using HAL:
    You can add the following line in /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-x11-input.fdi (inside the <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.keys"> section):

    <merge key="input.xkb.options" type="string">terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp</merge>

categoryPosted in CLI, Linux, Ubuntu, Unix | printPrint

One Response to “Fix Ctrl-Alt-Backspace problem with Ubuntu 9.10+”

  1. cat on November 13th, 2009 at 08:27

    Thanks for this. Couldn't figure out why cntrl-alt-backspace wasn't working.

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