AltGr key acts like "Select All"

Bug #1484157 reported by Antanas Budriūnas on 2015-08-12
This bug affects 13 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The bug I noticed only in one application – LibreOffice, but I suspect Unity because using other desktop environments (including Openbox, Gnome and Gnome classic) there is no bug.
It's imposible to insert symbols from third keyboard level using combinations with AltGr key (I'm using Lithuanian standard layout).

Reproduction steps:
Open desired LibreOffice document,
hit Ctrl+F or Ctrl+H ("Search" or "Search and Replace"),
Type some chars,
Press AltGr (right Alt) key.

the text in the field is selected. Entering next char removes all previously entered characters.

Sometimes the bug appears not right after user login but 1 or few minutes later.
Tested with >10 PCs.

LibreOffice – tested with several versions
unity 7.2.5
Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS

Antanas Budriūnas (antanasb) wrote :


Seems the bug is gone after this workaround:

 open System settings>Keyboard>Shortcuts
Add new dummy command (for example 'cd .') and press attach AltGr key (alternatively named as 'Right Alt' or 'Level3 Shift') to it.
After that I even deleted this dummy command from shortcuts list and the bug did not reappers.

Antanas Budriūnas (antanasb) wrote :

The workaround from post #1 helps for current user session only.
Even if I leave the dummy command in the shortcuts list, after next login I must switch the 'Level3 Shift' shortcut off and on again. This way I can live without the bug till logout.

Antanas Budriūnas (antanasb) wrote :

One PC with similar setup in nearest environment doesn't have the bug. The only software difference – Ubuntu OS is 64-bit.
The bug I noticed in Ubuntu 32-bit only.

Kumbarov (kumbarov) wrote :

As part of the big bug review for 16.04 LTS I have tested this on 15.10 and the bug is still there.

tags: added: desktop-bugscrub-triaged
Antanas Budriūnas (antanasb) wrote :

Hello Kumbarov,

please mark "This bug affects you".
For identification of source of the bug the wider description of your setup is needed, including LO version and GUI language, Unity version and Ubuntu locale settings.
Did you have tried the workaround from post #1? Did it works for you?

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Michal Grňo (michal-grno) wrote :

I also have this problem on Ubuntu 16.04, 64bit. The strange thing about this bug is that the Right Alt doesn't always select all text: it does with Ctrl+F in LibreOffice and on some web pages in Firefox, but most of the time it works fine... My GUI language is Czech but I can reproduce it with any keyboard. What's even more bothering, the left Alt is broken too: when I'm in the LibreOffice search and press the left Alt, it selects all text and then opens the HUD.

Maximiliano Castro (mexomagno) wrote :

Just like Michael, I have this problem too on Ubuntu 16.04 64bit on a Lenovo ThinkPad E560, particularly in Firefox Quantum 58.0.2, on some form text inputs. I haven't encountered this issue anywhere else. The workaround proposed by Antanas on #2 doesn't work for me.

Is really someone looking into this?

Marcin Kielar (zorba128) wrote :

I have same issue since a year or so. This is really annoying, as right ALT on my keyboard is used to enter national characters - so it is used heavily. In *some* places you loose what you just typed making it impossible to work.

I noticed it is really hard to tell where issue will appear; right now I have multiple tabs in Firefox 59.0.2 (64-bit) open. This "add comment" text area works fine. I have another webpage open in same firefox, where this occurs.

I also confirm this behaviour in libre office writer's search textbox (
Build ID: 420m0 Build:2).


Leszek Dubiel (leszek-dubiel) wrote :

The same problem in my Ubuntu. I remember I have had to turn off some compononent of XWindow system to make the bug dissapear, but I can't find what it was.

This bug also appears in Firefox forms on Ubuntu 16.04:

The AltGr key is used for entering frequently-used characters in some common keyboard layouts. (For example, any of \|[]{}@ is entered via AltGr in the default German keyboard layout.) Because pressing the AltGr key selects the entire input field, if you continue typing, all the text entered so far will be lost. This makes the bug pretty critical IMHO.

One more data point: I've not seen this bug until recently and I've been running the same application on Ubuntu 16.04 for a few years now. So either it's a regression or it was covered up by some other relatively recent change.

I have encountered this bug while using ubuntu 18.04. It occurs on some forms on Firefox.

Gillian Sampont (schminitz) wrote :

I have the same exact problem, and its really annoying on my belgium keyboard.

Sébastien Bertrand (damocles) wrote :


As said on the ubuntu-fr forum, you could avoid the bug by going in system option ▸ languages ▸ Input keyboard system and selecting an option other than IBus.


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