[patch?] alt-gr does not work inside kvm debian terminal

Bug #238684 reported by Michael Vogt on 2008-06-09
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
kvm (Ubuntu)
qemu (Debian)
Fix Released
virt-manager (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: kvm


I had issues with the alt-gr key (and with caps-lock that I remapped) inside a kvm that runs a debian virtual console. I stumbled upon debian bug #441068 and tried the patch and that made the key work. It also made console-setup correctly honor "ctrl:nocaps". I attach the debdiff for the diff I used, some of the patch is probably nose (e.g. keymaps/es), if you want, I'm happy to isolate the changes that are really required (but its late now).


Michael Vogt (mvo) wrote :
Changed in qemu:
status: Unknown → New


I can confirm, Alt-Gr key does not work in German, too. I did not try the patch yet.

The bug occurs in a Linux gueast as well as in Win-XP.

Checking with xev in the Linux guest, you can recognize, there is no event on the key.


Changed in kvm:
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Triaged
Dustin Kirkland  (kirkland) wrote :

Hey Michael, Christian-

kvm-84 has a lot of foreign keyboard fixes. Can you guys reproduce this problem in Jaunty?


Dustin Kirkland  (kirkland) wrote :

Upstream believes that this is fixed in modern kvm. They took a look at your patch and it's not really the best way to solve this. Please try the new kvm and see if alt-gr works :-)


Changed in kvm:
status: Triaged → Incomplete
Dustin Kirkland  (kirkland) wrote :

If you're running Hardy, could you please test this using the kvm-84 package in this PPA:
 * https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-virt/+archive/ppa

Does this solve the issue, or is it reproducible?


Thierry Carrez (ttx) wrote :

I can reproduce the issue with Jaunty guest / Jaunty host.

AltGR is basically ignored. You can test by booting a Jaunty livecd (with a display forcing keymap=fr), select "French / French alternative" as the keyboard and try in the test textbox using your qwerty keyboard:
Typing "Q" correctly yields a "A", however:
AltGR+3 should yield "#" instead of "
AltGR+6 should yield "|" instead of -

I will try to check out the patch to see if it's still fit for kvm-84.

Changed in kvm (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Thierry Carrez (ttx) wrote :

I can confirm that the patch from Michael still applies (with minor adaptations, see the attached debdiff) and fixes the issue for Jaunty guest / Jaunty host.


Can you try running kvm without a -k option? Does it still have that problem?


Thierry Carrez (ttx) wrote :

It works perfectly using the QEMU console you get by running "kvm" directly.
If I put "-k fr" or I run without a "-k" option, AltGR key combinations work as intended.

What doesn't work is typing AltGR combinations inside virt-manager viewer. So I guess it introduces a difference... There doesn't seem to be a simple way of forcing virt-manager to run kvm without a "-k" option, so I can't really test that. Note that the above kvm patch works around the libvirt viewer bug (but that may not be the appropriate way of fixing this bug).

Dustin Kirkland  (kirkland) wrote :


I think you're confirming that this is a virt-manager bug, not a kvm bug.

In general, if it works from the kvm command line, but exists in
virt-manager, then the bug is either in virt-manager or libvirt.


Changed in virt-manager (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in kvm (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Invalid
schnittchen (schnittchen) wrote :

It might be interesting to know that the problem also occurs when using gvncviewer (on jaunty). I started my vm using virt-manager and verified (in /proc/../cmdline) that kvm is spawned with "-k de".

Eventually, both gvncviewer and virt-manager use libgtk-vnc, which might be the place to look for.

Linux tp-intrepid 2.6.28-11-generic #42-Ubuntu SMP Fri Apr 17 01:57:59 UTC 2009 i686 GNU/Linux

virt-manager: Version: 0.6.1-1ubuntu4
kvm: Version: 1:84+dfsg-0ubuntu11
libvirt0: Version: 0.6.1-0ubuntu5
gvncviewer: Version: 0.3.8-2ubuntu2

Jay (jerome-avond-free) wrote :

Someone told here that there is a solution :

Adding {"ISO_Level3_Shift", 0xfe03}, /* ISO_Level3 in the vnc_keysym.h file.

Hope you could check that.

Dustin Kirkland  (kirkland) wrote :

On Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 3:59 AM, Jay <email address hidden> wrote:
> Adding {"ISO_Level3_Shift", 0xfe03}, /* ISO_Level3 in the vnc_keysym.h
> file.
> Hope you could check that.

This is in karmic's qemu-kvm package already.

Can you test this please?


lequeux1 (elequeux) wrote :

Patch cited in #12 was also integrated in Jaunty's qemu, but not kvm.

A more complete version is available in http://patches.ubuntu.com/by-release/ubuntu/k/kvm/kvm_1:84+dfsg-0ubuntu10.slipped-patch (look for altgr-dead-keys-vnc.diff); Works for me.


Jay (jerome-avond-free) wrote :

Apparently, on some vnc client Alt-Gr works (directvnc for example vnc via framebuffer), maybe it's a probleme from the vnc client not the vnc server.

lequeux1 (elequeux) wrote :

... Maybe, but:
 * vinagre, vncviewer, virt-viewer, all use alt-gr.
 * directvnc fails to connect kvm local domains
 * if this patch doesnt make sense, why is it integrated in jaunty qemu ( but not in kvm ) package ?
 * Really annoying for a french user (and probably other non US users, too). with no { [ @ \ # ~ | ] } life is so complicated...


Olivier Berger (olivierberger) wrote :

I'm not sure this is purely virt-manager problem, as it seems to happen also when using libvirt's virsh.

So may need to be reassigned to libvirt actually.

hron84 (hrgy) wrote :

#17: I don't think this is related just libvirt. I use pure qemu (on Gentoo, but this isn't important) and qemu has this issue too.

Marc Deslauriers (mdeslaur) wrote :

The version of virt-manager in lucid doesn't pass the -k parameter when starting kvm anymore, as recent kvm shouldn't require specifying a keyboard. This issue should therefore be fixed in virt-manager.

Changed in virt-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
Changed in qemu (Debian):
status: New → Fix Released
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