Ubuntu forgets keyboard shortcuts after a restart

Bug #964270 reported by Eagle on 2012-03-25
This bug affects 131 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
compiz (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

NOTE: This bug is for Ubuntu 12.04 (precise) only. If you experience something similar on 12.10 (quantal) or later then please refer to bug 1063617 instead. The two releases use completely different settings libraries so should be treated as separate bugs.

Note also that if you just have trouble with screen edges, that is bug 858845.

I use Dell XPS 1640. I'm using the latest ubuntu 12 and updated everything as of today. I assign some shortcuts for music to ubuntu keyboard shortcuts such as when i press ALT + X the music plays/pauses. However, after I restart the system, ubuntu forgets them and I have to reconfigure it everytime.

I am new to Ubuntu but willing to help on debugging if it is simple and not technical.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.04
Package: gnome-control-center 1:3.3.92-0ubuntu4
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.2.0-20.32-generic-pae 3.2.12
Uname: Linux 3.2.0-20-generic-pae i686
NonfreeKernelModules: fglrx
ApportVersion: 1.95-0ubuntu1
Architecture: i386
Date: Sun Mar 25 09:15:46 2012
ExecutablePath: /usr/bin/gnome-control-center
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin" - Beta i386 (20120301)
SourcePackage: gnome-control-center
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Eagle (me-ngeefk4xayt3t4u9wat) wrote :
Eagle (me-ngeefk4xayt3t4u9wat) wrote :

I got a work around on this. The problem is to assign something with ALT. I think it confuses the system with HUD shortcut. I changed my music keyboard shortcuts from ALT+X/Z/C to something else like a keyboard assigned button BACK, PLAY, FORWARD and it works. Ubuntu does not forget the shortcut.

Thus, it is just a clash between the shortcut of Hud and your custom assignment of ALT to another program that makes Ubuntu forget your shortcut but prioritize the HUD one. In this sense, the problem is "fixed".

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: New → Fix Released
status: Fix Released → Opinion
assignee: nobody → Eagle (me-ngeefk4xayt3t4u9wat)
assignee: Eagle (me-ngeefk4xayt3t4u9wat) → nobody

Confirmed as affecting Ubuntu 12.10 Beta 2. Any and all custom keyboard shortcuts with an Alt in them fail to survive a reboot.

Simple reproduction: go into Keyboard, Shortcuts, Navigation and assign Ctrl-Alt-2 to Switch to Workspace 2. Press Ctrl-Alt-2 to demonstrate it working. Reboot. Press Ctrl-Alt-2: nothing happens. Keyboard, Shortcuts shows no sign of the originally-assigned shortcut.

stepankk (stepankk) wrote :

Confirmed on Ubuntu 12.10. Moreover, not only shortcuts with Alt key are forgotten after reboot, shortcuts with Super key are forgotten as well. Still, when I reassign them once again they work perfectly.

I am not sure if this is actually the same bug but the symptoms seem to be consistent; maybe it should be a separate bug report.

I did not have this bug in 12.04 but it showed up after upgrading an existing system to 12.10. It also manifests itself in the exact same way on a brand-new system with a fresh install of 1210.
It seems settings (including but not limited to keyboard shortcuts) for certain Compiz plugins are occasionally reset to their default values after a system reboot or crash. I think I have seen this occur after using the compiz settings import/export functionality as an easy workaround, as I have also occasionally lost the settings without reboot.

As stepankk mentioned above it seems to affect some shortcuts that use Alt and Super but does not always affect all of them. I have experienced reset settings and shortcuts from the following plugins: General Options, Desktop Wall, Expo, Ubuntu Unity, Move Window, Resize Window, Grid, and Gnome Compatibility. Again, these do not always all revert together. It seems the Move Window, Resize Window, and Grid plugins seem to reset with the most frequency on the new machine and the Ubuntu Unity Plugin settings on the upgraded machine.

Hamish Downer (mishd) on 2012-11-04
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Opinion → Confirmed
Hamish Downer (mishd) wrote :

Another confirmation on 12.10, using Unity. I did not experience this bug using 12.04.

Interestingly this seems to reset shortcuts where there is a default, but not new ones. In my case, I replace "Shift to workspace right" with Ctrl-Alt-h, rather than Ctrl-Alt-right arrow. (And the rest of the vim direction keys). This shortcut gets reset. But I also have Ctrl-Alt-m set (via CCSM) to move a window to the next display port (multi monitor thing using the compiz Put plugin) as that shortcut survives reboots.

Don't know if that helps narrow it down.

Hamish Downer (mishd) wrote :

Doing some more playing, I find that my custom keyboard shortcuts are set as expected when viewed in gconf-editor ( /apps/metacity/window_keybindings/move_to_workspace_up etc and /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/switch_to_workspace_up etc) but that doesn't make compiz (or whatever) use them. The view in the keyboard shortcuts settings dialog does correspond with what the keys do, and changing the shortcuts there does change them. Not sure if gconf is actually meant to be used or not ...

eslin (d-launchpad-eslin-org) wrote :

how about urgent?! this bug is very annoying

Chris (chrisspelberg) wrote :

For me this bug is annoying because the default shortcut keys do overlap with the IntelliJ IDEA keys.

If the default keys could use the 'Windows' key instead of Ctrl-Alt I would be very happy, in that case the default keys would not be used in any application.

(excuse me for my english..)

would it help if I donated some money to get this bug fixed?

Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

Please note that gconf-editor is the wrong tool for this in 12.10, as compiz has been ported to gsettings. This sounds like a likely duplicate of bug 1063617. You could try to install gnome-shell and check if that bug also happens with that; if not, it's a rather definitive duplicate.

summary: - Ubuntu forgets keyboard shortcuts after a restart
+ [precise] Ubuntu forgets keyboard shortcuts after a restart
description: updated
description: updated


Agree.. Ubuntu 12.10 forgot my ALT shortcuts after restart..


Norbert (nrbrtx) on 2012-12-30
tags: added: quantal
summary: - [precise] Ubuntu forgets keyboard shortcuts after a restart
+ Ubuntu forgets keyboard shortcuts after a restart
neil king (neil-neilking) wrote :

In the preferences section in CCSM I set the Backend to Flat-File Configuration Backend. This caused my CCSM settings and keyboard shortcuts to be persistent. You'll have to do a unity --replace for the changes to take affect though.

Doug McMahon (mc3man) on 2013-04-03
tags: added: raring
affects: gnome-control-center (Ubuntu) → compiz (Ubuntu)
cazacugmihai (cazacugmihai) wrote :

I loose every keyboard shortcut defined in "System Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts" almost after each restart.

Ubuntu version: 14.04

Pawel Barcik (pawel-barcik) wrote :

Same thing here on Ubuntu 14.04.

After installing system updates and restarting my laptop I lose keyboard setting almost every time.

It's been an issue since 12.04 .

everflux (tklaunchpad) wrote :

I did a fresh install with Ubuntu Gnome remix. All problems are gone...

Tony Bold (tony-bbold) wrote :

I am loosing keyboard shortcuts almost every time after restart. But not all of them. "Launchers ", "Sound and Media" sections seems ok, "Navigation" isn't. ("Switch to workspace X" for example).

Ubuntu 14.04

Very annoying bug

Kevin (purple-nurple) wrote :

I can also confirm that on Ubuntu 14.04 my custom shortcut keys reset. However they do not reset after every reboot, but eventually do reset.

snapy (sdfjsfjaei-hans) wrote :

Same for me. Resets now and then.

Andre Lohan (dc5ala) wrote :

Having this issue for 2 years and wondering when this will be fixed. Using ALT+1..4 for switching workspaces.

Nazar Mokrynskyi (nazar-pc) wrote :

The same issue for me. Not only shortcuts - some other settings resets to default after restart, for example automatic windows raising with mouse over.
Also I like to move windows with Super+Mouse instead of default Alt+Mouse, but compiz forgets these changes every time.

Smile (zigana-m16) wrote :

Same bug here.
I changed 'Launch Terminal' to "Ctrl+Alt+Return" but after every restart, it resets to "Ctrl+Alt+T" by itself.
Very annoying.

Timo Palomaa (timppis) wrote :

Did people even read the bug description? There is a separate bug for 12.10 and later: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/compiz/+bug/1063617

And it is also assigned/in progress.

Diep Pham (favadi) wrote :

This bus is very annoying. I don't want to use HUD, so I remove Alt key binding from "System Settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts", but after a while, it got reset and I have to unbind it again.

padarjohn (john-meissen) wrote :

According to https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/compiz/+bug/1063617 this was fixed 14.04. Any chance of getting the fix in 12.04? This is incredibly annoying.
I applied updates today and now my shortcuts are gone. I had one for the terminal that was alt+` (I prefer alt-esc, but that's another problem). My shortcut doesn't work, and there's a new one with ctrl-alt-t. If I delete both and add mine back, it works for a few minutes. But then it stops working and when I check the ctrl-alt-t one is back.

primetech (primetech) wrote :

Today I rebooted my lovely 14.04 virtual machine. During the reboot, my Show Desktop shortcut (which I had switched to Windows+D) is now using Alt. Just Alt. I checked the settings, where it is still showing Windows+D.

Windows+Up for Maximize is also broken; it appears to be fully unregistered (unless I reset it in the settings screen).

Windows+Left for Snap Left and Windows+Right for Snap Right are still working, humorously.
So is Windows+Shift+Up for Maximize Vertically.

I don't even know, but it's sure a mess. This isn't even Compiz; it's XFCE.

fcole90 (fcole90) wrote :

“Thank you for taking the time to report this bug. Unfortunately we can’t work out how to recreate this bug from your description. Please describe the process you go through to trigger this bug and then change the bug status to NEW. See this page for more information. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BigDesktopBugScrub

Changed in compiz (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for compiz (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in compiz (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
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