Shift-Backspace kills X?

Alan Coopersmith alan.coopersmith at
Tue Oct 4 09:12:55 PDT 2011

On 10/ 4/11 06:46 AM, walt wrote:
> I often type Shift-Backspace by mistake, and I must have been doing
> it since I bought my current keyboard a year ago or more.
> Just lately I've found that Shift-Backspace terminates my X session
> just the way Ctrl-Alt-Backspace did in the old days.  This was an
> unpleasant surprise, as it's purely unintentional.
> I finally traced this strange behavior to a very old setting in my
> gnome desktop config files that effectively adds three XkbOptions:
> grp	grp:alts_toggle
> terminate	terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp
> caps	caps:none
> I must have copy/pasted these items from somewhere a long time ago
> when trying to restore the old Ctrl-Alt-Backspace behavior, but I
> can't remember where I got them.
> Anyone understand how/why those old options are now being translated
> into to my current unwanted behavior?
> I'm running gentoo, which frequently updates all sorts of xorg-
> related packages and drivers, so it might have been any of them,
> dunno for sure.

Probably due to a bug in the recent xkeyboard-config 2.4 release:

Should be simple to confirm by editing the text file as described
in comment 4 there (normally installed on most systems as
/usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/terminate ).

	-Alan Coopersmith-        alan.coopersmith at
	 Oracle Solaris Platform Engineering: X Window System

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