Shift-Backspace kills X?

Octoploid cryptooctoploid at
Tue Oct 4 09:19:10 PDT 2011

walt <w41ter <at>> writes:

> 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.
> Any hints much appreciated :)

Yes, I've hit the same problem. I came up with this hack in .xinitrc ,
which "solves" the issue for me:

(sleep 2 && xmodmap -e "keycode 22 = BackSpace BackSpace BackSpace BackSpace
NoSymbol NoSymbol Terminate_Server")&

The sleep is necessary, because you have to wait till the gnome-setting-daemon
sets its wrong value and set the right one afterwards.

This command is handy to double check:
xmodmap -pp -pk | grep Terminate_Server


More information about the xorg mailing list