Bug? Alt-Fx keys switch VTs

Michal Sojka sojkam1 at fel.cvut.cz
Tue Jun 8 12:49:05 CEST 2010

On Mon, 07 Jun 2010, Yves-Alexis Perez wrote:
> On 07/06/2010 13:58, Michal Sojka wrote:
> > after a recent upgrade of my Debian unstable, I experience very wired
> > behavior of certain keyboard shortcuts. It seems that keyboard shortcuts
> > that have some meaning in Linux text console (namely Alt-Fx,
> > Alt-left/right, Ctrl-Alt-Del) retains this same meaning even if I log to
> > Xfce (through GDM). This is very annoying since I heavily use Alt-F2 to
> > execute xfrun4 and instead of showing me the dialog box, now it switches
> > me to the text console. Also pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del (which I map to
> > xfce4-session-logout) reboots my computer unconditionally.
> Hmmh, I'm not sure, but it seems that the system behaves as if the ctrl
> key was always pressed or something. Maybe check the keymap settings (in
> Xfce and in the system)?

Hi and thanks for the reply,

It doesn't seem to be caused by Ctrl always pressed. Ctrl works normally
and Alt-Del doesn't trigger Ctrl-Alt-Del action. I tried to play with
keymap settings (in Xfce and in /etc/defacult/keyboard) and nothing

> Maybe an xorg change triggered that, but (using debian unstable too on
> multiple boxes) I didn't experienced such a change. But we uploaded Xfce
> 4.6.2 recently to unstable so it /might/ be related, altough I don't
> know what could cause that.
> > 
> > I'm not sure whether it is Xfce related but if I first log in and out to
> > KDE and then I login to Xfce, the problem disappears. I've tried to boot
> > different kernels (2.6.3[234]) and the problem appears in all of them.
> That sound very weird. Maybe check with moving your Xfce config out of
> the way (move .config/xfce somewhere else, keep a backup). If it fixes
> the problem, you might have to check the diff between the two
> configuration folders.

I tried login to an account with empty $HOME and the problem appears
even there, but I noticed that it is not necessary to login to KDE and
then back to Xfce to get the normal keyboard behavior. It is sufficient
to log to Xfce, then logout and login again.

I also tried to replace GDM by KDM and the problem appeared even with
KDM. If I do not use ?DM and start XFCE by startx command with
startxfce4 in ~/.xsession, then the problem doesn't appear.


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