serious (for me) Xorg 7.5 mouse/kbd problem in 8.1-STABLE

William Bulley web at
Thu Aug 26 12:37:44 UTC 2010

According to Polytropon <freebsd at> on Wed, 08/25/10 at 10:03:
> In case you're using HAL + DBUS, the setting now has to be coded
> in XML in some arbitrary file at a decentral location buried deep
> in the /usr/local subtree. According to the handbook
> 	5.4.2 Configuring X11
> this is /usr/local/etc/hal/fdi/policy/x11-input.fdi with
> 	<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
> 	<deviceinfo version="0.2">
> 	  <device>
> 	    <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.keyboard">
> 	      <merge key="input.x11_options.XkbOptions" type="string">terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp</merge>
> 	    </match>
> 	  </device>
> 	</deviceinfo>
> as well as /etc/X11/xorg.conf will need to be added
> 	Section "ServerFlags"
> 		Option "DontZap"   "off"
> 	EndSection
> And the handbook also suggests a reboot (?!) to make sure HAL will
> pick up the new setting. Next time, you will have to reboot in order
> to make a mouse pointer position change visible. :-)

Thanks for all the suggestions.  Here is where things stand:

I am still having the same problem since upgrading to 8.1-STABLE.

First, what has changed.  Then a clarification of the problem.

   xterm has changed: now 2.6.1 was 2.5.3
   xorg has changed: now 7.5 was 7.3
   xorg-server has changed: now 1.7.5,1 was 1.6.1,1
   xf86-input-keyboard: now 1.4.0 was 1.3.2_2
   xf86-input-mouse: now 1.5.0 was 1.4.0_6
   hal has changed: now 0.5.14_8 was 0.5.13_12
   kernel has changed: now 8.1-STABLE was 8.0-STABLE

Note that open-motif _has_ _not_ _changed_ for some time.

The problem is not in the method of shutting down my Xorg session.
The problem is not the disappearance of my arrow cursor/pointer
per se, although that may be a symptom of the underlying problem.

The problem is that I am unable (now) to use open-motif through
no change in my configs or my settings.  Something has changed
in the underlying applications, or system libraries, or kernel.

In my use of open-motif, I use and depend on mouse focus.  This
means that when I move my mouse, the xterm I was in looses focus
and the xterm into which I move my mouse pointer gains focus.
This feature is also present in TWM, but open-motif (MWM) gives
me the additional feature that the window having focus is also
raised to the top - above all other windows/applications.  This
feature is critical for me and why I prefer using open-motif.

When I first experienced this bug, all I could do at that point
was to exit my xorg session (various folks have helped make that
more "normal").  I have modified my .xinitrc file to include:

   /usr/local/bin/setxkbmap -option "terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp"

and now Ctrl/Alt/BS sequence works as it used to in the "old days".

I have commented out ServerFlags section of my /etc/X11/xorg.conf
file and I have rebooted my workstation.  Both hald and dbus are
still enabled in my /etc/rc.conf file.

Nothing has changed.  When I run open-motif, I still experience
the crippling loss of mouse focus when I enter the sequence
Shift/Btn3Click.  The prevents me from using _any_ of my other
windows or xterms or applications since I can no longer select
them (give them focus).

Recall this setting in my ~/.mwmrc file:

   Shift   <Btn3Click>     window          f.minimize

OTOH _everything_ works in /usr/local/bin/twm.  I much prefer
the features of MWM compared to TWM.  I don't want to relearn
another window manager just because of this problem, and I'd
rather not reassign my f.minimize feature to a difference key
and mouse sequence, since some day, some application may require
me to enter Shift/Btn3Click which would effectively ruin that
Xorg session.

Since TWM works and the xterms therein also work just fine, I
doubt that xterm is at fault.  I also hold open-motif blameless
since it has not changed in years.  I think something in Xorg
or one of its support modules is not properly registering the
Shift/Btn3Click event to the xorg-server, or that xorg-server
has changed so that this particular event causes my pointer
focus to disappear.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to track down this bug or to
narrow the search for what changed.  I was hoping someone in
FreeBSD-land would have some suggestions.  I have heard that
contacting the Xorg developers may not result in a timely
resolution.  I greatly appreciate the comments on -questions
to date.  Thanks guys.



William Bulley                     Email: web at

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