Kill X session in Jaunty Jackalope

The usual CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE has been disabled in Jaunty, please read the Jaunty Jackalope technical overview:

Ctrl-Alt-Backspace is now disabled, to reduce issues experienced by users who accidentally trigger the key combo. Users who do want this function can enable it in their xorg.conf, or via the command dontzap –disable.

You can use ALTGR + SYSRQ + K or ALTGR + PRINTSCREEN + K instead.

If you want to enable the previous behavior, you can edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf, and add the following lines at the end:

Section "ServerFlags"
	Option 		"DontZap"	"off"	

If you feel like voicing yourself in an already long thread, please go here ;)

13 thoughts on “Kill X session in Jaunty Jackalope

  1. Sami

    That vote is bound to be skewed. Only the people who are savvy enough will go there and vote. Those that actually get by the side effects of zapping don’t actually even know what whit them.

    In any case, i think it’s a lot easier for the savvy people to enable it, than for the non savvy people to disable it.

  2. bapoumba Post author

    @ Sathya: it’s the case with Suse, is it with Ubuntu? I do not think so..
    @ Sami: we need to spread ALTGR + SYSRQ + K to the non savvy people. i do not see any need to enable it again, it’s an xorg upstream decision.

  3. Stemp

    How could you accidentally trigger CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE ?
    You wanted to click on the key left to Backspace with an uppercase, you missed both keys and then you pushed the Alt key with your elbow ? :D

  4. Sathya

    @bapoumba I installed Jaunty, and yes you were right, the Ctrl+Alt + bksp twice doesn’t work. thanks for the links!

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  6. Seth


    I *am* deffo a ‘savvy’ user and I managed to hit ctrl-alt-backspace quite a few times by accident. I *do* know what happened then.

    I’m just a fast typist and a ‘no-mouse’ user. When working in Opera e.g. I use very rapid combinations of azxsqw keys for navigation, Ctrl-T, Ctrl-Alt-Shift-N, and depending on where my fingers are on the keyboard I’ll use z, backspace, alt-left, or alt-backspace to ‘go back’. The killer is when I clone a tab (ctrl-alt-shift-N) and then truncate the URL to the last slash (ctrl-backspace). On a number of occasions I’m slighltly slow lifting the modifier keys and I (uhoh) kill X.

    Another ‘near miss key’ is when working with various vritual machines (VMWare/Virtual Box come to mind). Some of them remap Ctrl-Alt-Delete to interesting variations (Ctrl-Alt-Insert, Ctrl-Alt-End, RightControl-Delete). Since I *do* sometimes consciously hit Ctrl-Alt-Backspace (to avoid saving config items e.g., to test app robustness, to get out of a OOM-killer suspension when I forget to use ulimit early or just to win time) I do sometimes out of confusion land on the wrong key.

    I do blame my fast (sometimes rushed) keyboard behaviour, I don’t mind the old zap key, I like the new one as well – less confusion, but I can totally see the point: I’d have a hard time explaining my mom that Ctrl-Backspace deletes the last word in OO Writer, Alt-Backspace jumps to the last bookmark/insert location, but you better not accidentally mix the two :).

  7. Evan

    Thanks for the heads up on this! I was puzzling for a few minutes on how to close my session in Jaunty without using the mouse, since Ctrl+Alt+Backspace wasn’t doing it, and you can’t make it happen from the Ctrl+Alt+Delete menu.

    Observation: I think the new combination works with Alt, too (substitute for AltGr). That is to say, both Alt+SysRq+K and Alt+PrntScrn+K seem to work, in addition to the AltGr+SysRq+K and AltGr+PrntScrn+K combos given in the original post.

  8. Evan

    I’m using the dontzap package now, because Alt+PrntScrn+K logouts weren’t very clean (produced graphics garbage). Ctrl+Alt+Backspace looks much nicer.

    I wonder, why is there a difference? Each must have its own way of restarting X.

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