Right Alt key is suddenly switched off after invoking Settings - Keyboard Shortcuts in Focal

Bug #1867548 reported by Alexey Kulik on 2020-03-15
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-control-center (Ubuntu)
Robert Ancell
Robert Ancell

Bug Description

As soon as the Keyboard Shortcuts tab window is invoked in the Settings Application, Right Alt key is switched off system-wide. This happens suddenly even without any action from the user - just simple invoking of the window is enough to break the settings.

This obviously happens because of the new setting in the Keyboard Shortcuts appeared in focal: Alternate Characters Key. It sets Right Alt by default immediately as this window is opened. This setting doesn't have the Not Set option, so it is even not easy to switch back to the normal behavior. This setting can be unset only through the GNOME Tweaks application: Keyboard & Mouse - Additional Layout Options - Key to choose the 3rd level - uncheck the box Right Alt. But this is not a good workaround since the Alt key setting will be destroyed again as soon as Keyboard Shortcuts are visited in Settings next time.

The reasonable workaround seems to be introduction an option Not Set in the setting Alternate Characters Key and making it default. This will fix this bug and will introduce a sane default value because not every keyboard layout has a third-option for the keys.

This is quite significant UX flaw since nothing should be changed without explicit user action.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 20.04
Package: gnome-control-center 1:3.36.0-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 5.4.0-14.17-generic 5.4.18
Uname: Linux 5.4.0-14-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia_modeset nvidia
ApportVersion: 2.20.11-0ubuntu20
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: ubuntu:GNOME
Date: Sun Mar 15 22:33:08 2020
ExecutablePath: /usr/bin/gnome-control-center
InstallationDate: Installed on 2019-04-25 (325 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 19.10 "Eoan EANIMAL" - Alpha amd64 (20190425)
SourcePackage: gnome-control-center
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Alexey Kulik (doctor-rover) wrote :
Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

Thanks for your report! I could easily reproduce this design flaw, which really should be fixed before the release of Ubuntu 20.04 IMO.

It's an upstream thing, so it would be great if you could also file an upstream issue:


If you do, please post a comment here with the URL to the upstream issue.

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Confirmed
tags: added: rls-ff-incoming
Alexey Kulik (doctor-rover) wrote :

Thank you for the prompt response and for considering the report!
The upstream issue:


Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

Excellent, thank you!

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Robert, could you have a look to this one?

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu Focal):
assignee: nobody → Robert Ancell (robert-ancell)
tags: removed: rls-ff-incoming
Changed in gnome-control-center:
status: Unknown → New
Gunnar Hjalmarsson (gunnarhj) wrote :

If there is not enough time to fix this properly before release, can we drop the whole thing for now?

I submitted a merge request which does that:


Robert Ancell (robert-ancell) wrote :

I agree dropping this feature is the best thing to do at this time.

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu Focal):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package gnome-control-center - 1:3.36.1-1ubuntu5

gnome-control-center (1:3.36.1-1ubuntu5) focal; urgency=medium

  * debian/patches/git-info-crash-on-nvidia.patch:
    - backport a fix for an info panel segfault on nvidia cards
      (lp: #1870737)
  * debian/patches/git-nongnome-segfault.patch:
    - don't segfault when started outside of GNOME (lp: #1870735)

  [ Marco Trevisan ]
  * d/p/0028-user-panel-Add-reference-to-selected-user-and-clear-.patch,
  * d/p/0029-user-panel-Don-t-wait-for-fprintd-on-initialization.patch,
    - Don't wait for fprintd on initialization and don't limit enroll stages
      (lp: #1865845)

  [ Robert Ancell ]
  * debian/patches/0027-window-Stop-using-HdyLeaflet.patch:
    - Disable adaptive layouts, theres some bugs and they're not required on
      desktop (LP: #1871195)
  * debian/patches/0028-applications-Fix-only-connected-snap-interfaces-show.patch:
    - Fix disconnected snap interfaces not showing (LP: #1870600)
  * debian/patches/0029-applications-Use-new-snapd-glib-API-for-labelling-Sn.patch:
  * debian/control:
    - Use shared names for snap interfaces, fixing some interfaces that don't
      have labels.

  [ Gunnar Hjalmarsson ]
  * debian/patches/0030-temporarily-revert-alt-char-key.patch:
    - Revert the "Alternate Characters Key" commit temporarily awaiting
      a proper fix of LP: #1867548.

 -- Sebastien Bacher <email address hidden> Thu, 16 Apr 2020 12:30:37 +0200

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu Focal):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
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