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

Glynn Clements glynn at gclements.plus.com
Wed Sep 24 06:03:47 PDT 2008

Ben Gamari (FOSS) wrote:

> 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.

Ctrl-Alt-Break would be an improvement. Apart from anything else, that
isn't bound to anytyhing in Emacs (which pre-dates X, BTW).

For me, if X locks up to the extent that I can't quit the WM (and thus
the session) normally, it is normally locked up to the extent that
Ctrl-Alt-BS doesn't work either, and I need to resort to Alt-SysRq-K. 
Unfortunately, that tends to leave the video card in a state where
consoles don't work, but I can at least use Ctrl-Alt-Del to trigger a
clean reboot.

Glynn Clements <glynn at gclements.plus.com>

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