Poll: Should Xorg change from using Ctrl+Alt+Backspace to something harder for users to press by accident?

Ben Gamari (FOSS) bgamari at gmail.com
Tue Sep 23 19:53:49 PDT 2008

My completely unprofessional opinion is that Jason brings up a really
good point here. Accidentally zapping Xorg can not only be extremely
frustrating, but it could be extremely confusing for a new user. This
being said, I also agree that any change that might be zapping
unreliable or even unduly difficult is unacceptable.However, I do
believe there is a better solution than what we have presently. Ctrl,
Alt, and Backspace are usually three of the largest keys on most
keyboards and I can personally attest to the ease of triggering on some
keyboards (try typing on a laptop balanced on your knee).

I think that requiring two presses of Ctrl-Alt-Backspace in close
succession would be perfect, so long as a tightly looping Xorg would
still register the event. Otherwise, perhaps adding Shift to the
Ctrl-Alt-Backspace combination would be a reasonable course of action so
long as it doesn't preclude any keyboards. If this too is not possible,
perhaps making use of the Pause/Break key in replacement of the
Backspace key would be workable.

Just my 2 cents. Cheers,

- Ben

Jason Spiro wrote:
> dan <dan <at> entropy.homelinux.org> wrote:
>> On Tue, 23 Sep 2008 11:33:49 +0530, CyberOrg <cyberorg <at>
>> opensuse.org> wrote:
>>> Since openSUSE 11.0 users have to hit ctrl+alt+backspace twice quickly
>>> to kill X.
>> The problem with this is that when I want to kill X, it's usually because
>> it's crashed, and I have enough trouble getting it to respond to *any*
>> keypresses. Considering the CPU is 100% busy with X, is it going to
>> register my multiple 'quick' Ctrl-Alt-Backspace keypresses?
> I don't know.  IMO a few people should each independently run an experiment to
> out how often zap_warning_xserver.diff prevents zapping when zapping would
> otherwise have been possible.  Then they should report back to us.  But what's
> the proper way to simulate an average situation that would make users want to
> zap?  And who volunteers to be one of the experimenters?
>> Seriously, we need a way to kill X, and no matter what way that is, some
>> user will manage to 'accidentally' trigger it ( a million-monkeys-type
>> situation ). We've currently got a way to kill X, and I can't see how much
>> more obscure and difficult we can make it without requiring > 2 hands. I
>> don't see a case for changing things.
> The more difficult we make zapping, the smaller the number of people who'll
> accidentally zap.  The smaller the number of people who accidentally zap, the
> better.
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