How can I enable Ctrl+Alt+Backspace?


You can also use dconf-editor. This option will make the setting persistent across sessions.

sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

After starting the dconf-editor, navigate to org >> gnome >> desktop >> input-sources

Add the options that you need in xkb-options. The option strings are surrounded by single quotes and separated by commas. Be careful not to delete the brackets on the ends.

To enable ctrl+alt+backspace to kill the X-session, add 'terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp'

You can use this method to enter most of the traditional xkb options that are no longer available in System Settings >> Text Entry. The exceptions are the settings for switching the keyboard layouts, which currently do not work because of a bug.

For a list of the options and the syntax, use man 7 xkeyboard-config in a terminal.

To run the commands equivalent to using dconf-editor from a terminal, you use

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.input-sources xkb-options...
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The DontZap feature is no longer working for me on Fedora 16 and Ubuntu 11.10 (most recent releases as of November 2011), so I found an alternative.

According to the X11R7.5 release notes, it appears that this functionality has been migrated to a XKB configuration option, therefore DontZap no longer works. I can't tell if this is a detail of the Xorg implementation in Fedora and Ubuntu, or if this affects other distros as well.


Terminate Server keystroke

The Xorg server has previously allowed users to exit the server by pressing the keys Control + Alt + Backspace. While this function is still enabled by default in this release, the keymap data usually used with Xorg, from the xkeyboard-config project, has been modified to not map that sequence by default, in order to reduce the chance that inexperienced users will accidentally destroy their work.

Users who wish to have this...

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Ctrl+Alt+Backspace (i.e. the shortcut which was used to restart the X server) has to be enabled in a different way with respect to previous releases of Ubuntu.

This is due to the fact that “DontZap” is no longer an option in the X server and has become an option in XKB instead.


* Get to the System->Preferences->Keyboard menu.

* Select the "Layouts" tab and click on the "Layout Options" button.

* Then select "Key sequence to kill the X server" and enable "Control + Alt + Backspace".

Using KDE

* Launch "systemsettings"

* Select "Regional & Language".

* Select "Keyboard Layout".

* Click on "Enable keyboard layouts" (in the Layout tab).

* Select the "Advanced" tab. Then select "Key sequence to kill the X server" and enable "Control + Alt + Backspace".

Using the command line

You can type the following command to enable Zapping immediately.

setxkbmap -option...

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This question already has an answer here:

How can I enable Ctrl+Alt+Backspace? 8 answers

I only tested this on 13.10+, but you could do the following on the terminal type:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

This will open the keyboard configuration script. Press enter 5 times if you don't want to change any keyboard configuration and only want to kill X. When you get to the Kill X option which looks like this:

Select YES and press enter. Wait a bit while everything configures and after that you should have the ability to CTRL+ALT+BCKSPC right on the current session. After saving any work you have pending, try it yourself.

Perfect to solve any visual issues or annoying...

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How to re-enable Ctrl+Alt+BackSpace in Ubuntu

In my last post I wrote about what to do when when Linux hangs or completely freezes. In the same post I mentioned that the key command [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[BackSpace] was switched to [Alt]+[PrtSc]+[K] in Ubuntu. This is was done because of the fact that DontZap is no longer an option in the X server and has become an option in XKB instead. This guide is meant for old Ubuntu users and those that have migrated to Ubuntu from other Linux distros.

Before we begin you should note that all these methods will re-enable the [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[BackSpace] key command, but not disable the new [Alt]+[PrtSc]+[K].

These methods should work for Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04 (and hopefully for the future versions of Ubuntu).

The Easy GUI Way


First go to: System > Preferences >Keyboard menu Then select the Layouts tab and click on the Layout Options button Then find and select Key sequence to kill the X server and then select...
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In most Linux distro (including Ubuntu), the keyboard combo Ctrl + Alt + Backspace is often used as a shortcut key to restart X. However, in Ubuntu Jaunty, this keyboard shortcut was disabled, “to reduce issues experienced by users who accidentally trigger the key combo”, as quoted by Ubuntu.

I don’t know how many people will find this a welcome improvement in Ubuntu. Personally, this has caused me a lot of inconvenience as I always depend on it to get myself out of a nasty crash.

For those who wanted to restore back the Ctrl + Alt + Backspace combo, here’s the way:

Install dontzap

sudo apt-get install dontzap

Disable dontzap

Restart your computer

That’s it. You can restart your X using Ctrl + Alt + Backspace...

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Am 06.07.2011 15:52, schrieb Ed Greshko: > Reindl Harald wrote: > >> yeah and sometimes X is buggy and hangs with consuming 100% CPU >> while every mouse-click will be registrated many seconds later >> and you are unable to logout properly >> >> in this state CTRL+ALT+F2 does not work even >> >> so if CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE would be active as all the years before >> you could use this and 20-40 seconds later you get a login-screen >> instead shutdown with ACPI-Power-Down >> > > I suppose I'm just one of the lucky ones that have rarely needed this feature > in > the past several years. When I've had this situation recently, due to bad > nvidia driver and with F14 on Intel-Sandy-Bridge you need it too because X freezes permanently > I just ssh'd in and did what needed to be done. No shut down was needed. > But I could see the desire to be expeditious well if your two machines are on two different edges of the country and you have to take your android-handy, unlock a ssh-key, hope that you...
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Linux configuration for a GUI login:

Typically Linux configures the choice of a text console login or a graphical GUI login in the init script configuration file /etc/inittab. In order to allow remote a GUI login, the system itself must be configured for a X11 GUI login.

# Default runlevel. The runlevels used by RHS are: # 0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this) # 1 - Single user mode # 2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking) # 3 - Full multiuser mode # 4 - unused # 5 - X11 # 6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this) # id:5:initdefault:

(Partial file listing)

Note that this shows a run level of "5" for a Red Hat / Fedora / CentOS based configuration.


Also see the Linux init process tutorial.

Granting remote GUI desktop access to your system:

The system login manager provides the GUI screen presented to the user for one to login to the system. The system admin...

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