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some keyboard shortcuts stop working after reboot


Description Gytis 2012-03-05 17:22:10 CET
Keyboard shortcuts that use "exotic" keys need to be redefined after every login in to start working. 

1) Go to Settings -> Settings Manager -> Keyboard -> Application shortcuts

2) Set <Control><Alt>2 to "setxkbmap -layout lt"

3) Set <Control><Alt>aogonek to "setxkbmap -layout us" (aogonek is 1 on us keyboard.

4) Both shortcuts work.

5) Log out, log in -> <Control><Alt>2 works but <Control><Alt>aogonek doesn't until redefined again (although it is present on the list of shortcuts).

Similarly, <Control><Alt>t works just fine but XF86Tools has to be redefined upon every log in. It looks like every shortcut that uses "exotic" keys has the problem.

Moreover, this might be related, another bug or intentional behaviour but every time a shortcut, that is identical to the original, is defined on the aforementioned menu the entry disappears altogether.

I'm using Xubuntu 10.10 and Xfce 4.8
Comment 1 Adam Milazzo 2014-01-05 04:59:40 CET
I have the same problem and it's quite annoying, but the shortcuts don't need to be very "exotic" at all.

Some more details:

* Ctrl+Alt+Delete works after logging out and back in.
* Ctrl+Shift+Print works too.
* Nothing involving Super (i.e. the Windows key) works after logging out and back in.
* I have only one keyboard layout, and it's the system-wide default, and it's en-US, but it's not qwerty.
* xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts.xml apparently contains the correct information after logging back in (i.e. the settings file seems okay). At least, the file is identical to the contents of the file from the time when it worked.
* The shortcuts are visible in the Keyboard dialog after logging back in, but attempting to edit one causes it to disappear. After recreating them, they work again, until the next login.
* Xfce 4.8 on Debian 7.2.

I can see that this bug has been sitting here for 9 months. /Please/ either look into it, or help us look into it ourselves by giving us some things to investigate.
Comment 2 Adam Milazzo 2014-01-05 05:03:01 CET
Also, killing and restarting xfce4-settings-helper causes the application shortcuts to start working.
Comment 3 Adam Milazzo 2014-01-05 05:30:22 CET
Sending xfce4-settings-helper a USR1 or USR2 signal also causes the keyboard shortcuts to start working.

Does xfce4-settings-helper rely on another process running or being in a certain state before it can work properly? If so, might there be some kind of race condition on startup?

One workaround is to create a script like the following and make it run on startup:

sleep 5
killall -e -u `whoami` -USR1 xfce4-settings-helper

Shorter sleeps, like 1 or 2 seconds, do not work for me.
Comment 4 Adam Milazzo 2014-01-05 05:50:28 CET
This may actually be a duplicate of or related to #8369.

I mentioned that my keyboard layout is not QWERTY. The A key is in the same place on QWERTY and on my layout, and my Super+A shortcut /does/ work after logging out and back in!

However, shortcuts where the keys are in different places between QWERTY and my layout do not work. Neither does it work if I press Super and the key corresponding to the key in QWERTY. (For instance, I have Super+G mapped and G is where U would normally be, but pressing neither Super+G nor Super+U works.)
Comment 5 Shawn Milo 2014-05-17 17:18:23 CEST
This looks like the same problem I'm having. I switch among my workspaces with Super+arrow keys. After every reboot I have to re-define them, despite the fact that they are already correctly set. 

I had the exact same problem with a previous version of XFCE (in Xubuntu) because I always use Super+Q to close windows instead of ALT+F4. That is working in Xubuntu 14.04. Maybe that fix could be checked to help resolve this.

Since someone else noted they're using a non-QWERTY keyboard, that could be related -- I'm using Dvorak.
Comment 6 Shawn Milo 2014-06-16 16:55:23 CEST
https://bugzilla.xfce.org/show_bug.cgi?id=9721 seems to be yet another duplicate. There's also a workaround listed there by Klaus Kusche:

"I moved my setxkbmap command from Xfce's Session Application Autostarts
to somewhere early in xfce4/xinitrc, and now the keys work fine."

Also: I've discovered that when my shortcuts for changing desktops (such as Super-Up) don't work after a reboot, CTRL+ALT+Up does work. Hopefully that helps understand the problem.
Comment 7 exprosic 2019-11-23 13:57:23 CET
Any news about this?
I'm having the same problem for the shortcut of switching keyboard layout
Comment 8 Git Bot editbugs 2020-05-29 11:48:27 CEST
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Bug #8533

Reported by:
Reported on: 2012-03-05
Last modified on: 2020-05-29


Olivier Fourdan
CC List:
4 users



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