gnome-settings-daemon grabs my keyboard and won't let go

Bug #335201 reported by Marius Gedminas on 2009-02-26
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Settings Daemon
gnome-settings-daemon (Ubuntu)
Ubuntu Desktop Bugs
Nominated for Jaunty by snoopy33

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-settings-daemon

On several occasions my Ubuntu desktop became unusable: I could interact with the applications by using my mouse, but keyboard events were suppressed. After a long and painful session full of experiments (full story here: <>) I discovered this was caused by gnome-settings-daemon grabbing the keyboard.

I don't know how to reproduce the problem intentionally. The symptoms include:

  * application menus, panel menus, calendar applet react when you click on them, but popups with the actual menus never appear
  * you can no longer move windows
  * you cannot type into text boxes

The workaround is ssh'ing from a different machine and running 'killall gnome-settings-daemon'. You may want to use the run dialog (Alt+F2) to restart it to get your pretty GNOME theme back.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

thank you for your bug report, what ubuntu version do you use? do you have some special configuration? there has been no other bugs about that so it could be specific to your configuration, without details on how to trigger the bug not easy to work on it

Changed in gnome-settings-daemon:
assignee: nobody → desktop-bugs
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Incomplete
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

you could try to open the bug where the people writting the code will read about your issue too

Marius Gedminas (mgedmin) wrote :

I use Ubuntu 8.10 (intrepid) with no special configuration that I can think of.

I have seen a coworker struggling with this problem, but I don't think he ever bothered to report it anywhere. As you can see it took me more than an hour of intensive debugging just to figure out gnome-settings-daemon was responsible...

Changed in gnome-settings-daemon:
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Changed in gnome-settings-daemon:
status: Unknown → Incomplete
snoopy33 (snoopy33) wrote :

Hi to all,

I have the same bug when I use the multimedia key of my HP DV 3000 Laptop.

When I use high or down volume keys, and gnome settings daemon is launched, the action is repeated during 20 seconds and more sometimes, i lose the use of my keyboard, and windows can t move too.

When I kill this daemon, it s OK.

With Xev, i see that if I push on high volume key during 1 second, the system believe that I push on many many times, that s why the system is unstable during 20 or more seconds....

I don t know what to do to fix this.

Hope that anyone have an idea.

snoopy33 (snoopy33) wrote :

i forgot to say i m under ubuntu jaunty

snoopy33 (snoopy33) wrote :

don t know why, now, i ve the bug even if I kill g s d...

J Jones (johnjones) wrote :

I have the same bug on my Toshiba laptop running the 9.04 live CD.

When I adjust the volume knob on the side of the laptop, gnome-settings goes into some funky state where it continually triggers notify-osd. Even with only a minor volume adjustment, the volume will run away to full maximum or full mininum and continue to stay there. It effectively locks up the keyboard and the gnome panel, but the mouse still works for some things.

I originally thought the problem was notify-osd which was running at 100% of CPU, but some investigation with the help of the notify-osd guys shows the problem is likely gnome-settings. If I kill gnome-settings then everything works fine, but without the Ubuntu appearance. If I do something to trigger a restart of gnome-settings (like change the wallpaper), then the Ubuntu appearance comes back and everything works just fine until I touch the volume knob again. Then the entire process repeats. In my case this is very reproducible and is triggered only by the volume knob, but not the on-screen volume slider which can be safely adjusted with the mouse.

My previous work on this issue can be found at bug 367069 which is probably a duplicate of this one.

Marius Gedminas (mgedmin) wrote :

The fun you're having with volume keys/knobs sounds familiar, but is a different bug.

What happens for you, is that the kernel sends a volume change notification in the form of a key press, and gnome-settings-daemon interprets that key as a request to change the volume, triggering another notification from the kernel in an infinite loop. Changing the volume key bindings in GNOME preferences might be simple a workaround.

What happens for me (and what this bug is about), is that sometimes when I'm pressing various modifier keys (Ctrl, Alt, Shift), gnome-settings-daemon grabs the X keyboard and doesn't release the grab. Its likely this is related to the "show mouse position when you press Ctrl" setting that I have enabled. Volume keys don't enter the picture.

xens (r-aviolat) wrote :

Same problem here! Using Karmic A3 uptodate (HP Pavillon dv3000)

Should we create a bug report to Is it an ubuntu or gnome related bug?

I tried to investigate this bug without success. Going to a console (CTRL+ALT+F1) and going back to tty7 unlock the keyboard and "solve the problem"

Here from Lucid Beta1. I'm not shure if this is the same. This bug hitted me after the Updates from Yesterday. Periodically keystrokes are the effect that I have. I'm not able to surf with FF or Chromium, when typing Text the Pages are reloading itself. Login on tty1 is not possible, because the Password isn't typed correctly.

Changed in gnome-settings-daemon:
status: Incomplete → New
Changed in gnome-settings-daemon:
importance: Unknown → Medium
Changed in gnome-settings-daemon:
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in gnome-settings-daemon:
status: Incomplete → Expired
Kip Warner (kip) wrote :

I get this all the time. I will try OP's solution, otherwise I have to reboot every time.

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