Trivial questions about CNTL-ALT-DEL and CNTL-ALT-BACKSPACE

Warren Block wblock at
Mon Nov 16 22:10:55 UTC 2009

On Mon, 16 Nov 2009, Philipp Lengemann wrote:
> Am Sun, 15 Nov 2009 15:19:29 -0800
> schrieb "Ronald F. Guilmette" <rfg at>:
>> I _did_ go and read the Handbook section that Manolis Kiagias
>> kindly posted a link to, and I have now tried _both_ of the two
>> ways described there to re-enable CNTL-ALT-BACKSPACE functionality
>> for the X server, and sadly I must report that for me, at least
>> _neither_ of those methods worked
> Put the following to your xorg.conf:
> <snip>
> Section "ServerFlags"
>  Option "DontZap"         "off"
>  Option "AllowEmptyInput" "off"
>  Option "AutoAddDevices"  "off"
> EndSection
> Section "InputDevice"
>  Option "XkbOptions" "terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp"
> EndSection
> </snip>
> This works for me very reliable (xorg-7.4_2).

That InputDevice entry is interesting.  It has to be added to a Keyboard 
section, not standalone as shown (unless I missed something).

(If it was standalone, it would nicely eliminate the need for the 
setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp entry in my .xinitrc.)

For those who want to do that with hal, for all keyboards, here's a 
patch for /usr/local/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-x11-input.fdi:

--- 10-x11-input.fdi.orig       2009-11-16 14:47:01.000000000 -0700
+++ 10-x11-input.fdi    2009-11-16 14:54:01.000000000 -0700
@@ -22,6 +22,7 @@
          <merge key="input.x11_driver" type="string">evdev</merge>
+      <merge key="input.xkb.options" type="string">terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp</merge>

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA

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