Using Shift+left arrow or right arrow to select characters results in garbage on command line

Bug #546021 reported by jpfle
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Gnome Virtual Terminal Emulator
vte (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-terminal

I upgraded my system from Karmic to Lucid Beta 1, and now I can't use Shift+left arrow or right arrow to select one character at a time. These keyboard shortcuts result in garbage on command line:

- "Shift+left arrow" prints D
- "Shift+right arrow" prints C

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: i386
Date: Wed Mar 24 09:40:50 2010
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
ExecutablePath: /usr/bin/gnome-terminal
Package: gnome-terminal 2.29.6-0ubuntu3
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.32-16.25-generic
SourcePackage: gnome-terminal
Uname: Linux 2.6.32-16-generic i686

Revision history for this message
jpfle (jpfle) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Davide Lasagna (lasagnadavide) wrote :

Hi, thanks for taking the time to report this bug and for helping to make Ubuntu a better OS.
The terminal keybindings depend on the readline configuration, which stays in the file /etc/inputrc. I also have Lucid running on my laptop and i can reproduce this behaviour although i'm not sure if you could select text in the terminal with shift+arrows in karmic. As far as i remember there was no such possibility, but i may be mistaken. Can someone running Karmic post the /etc/inputrc file? Marking as incomplete until new information.


Changed in gnome-terminal (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Peter de Schulthess (helping-hand) wrote :

Me Too.

I'm not sure about the "Incomplete" status, but I can confirm this affects me too.
I've upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS - standard configuration on an ASUS P5N-E SLI

I was pretty sure this worked before the upgrade, and it's pretty universal behaviour.
In the mean time, does anyone know if there is a way to "remap" SHIFT-LEFT and SHIFT-RIGHT to highlight as expected?

- Peter

Revision history for this message
Peter de Schulthess (helping-hand) wrote :

It would also appear that this is a regression error from previous work done.
Browsing a little more, I have found this sequence of bugs dating back quite some time...

on here: 89660 and 96676
on Bugzilla: 337252, 425462, 434921, and 600659

I'm a relatively novice Linux user, and I don't know a thing about XTerm, vte, vtl, vi, vim, ACM or other *nix flavours.

However, if I understand this right,
 * Ubuntu is supposed to be for the "Rest of us",
 * We have to learn to use the terminal (or Bash) to get anything done,
 * It would appear that basic navigation in said terminal is not stable.

This doesn't leave a good impression. Sorry if I sound ungrateful, that's not the intent.
I just want to point out that most users would not take the time to wade through all this.

- Peter

Changed in gnome-terminal (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

The same also happens in terminator

affects: gnome-terminal (Ubuntu) → vte (Ubuntu)
Changed in vte (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

This bug is an upstream one and it would be quite helpful if somebody experiencing it could send the bug the to the people writing the software. You can learn more about how to do this for various upstreams at Thanks in advance!

Changed in vte:
status: Unknown → New
Revision history for this message
Chris Coulson (chrisccoulson) wrote :

Thanks for sending upstream

Changed in vte (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in vte:
importance: Unknown → Medium
Changed in vte:
status: New → Invalid
Revision history for this message
John Drinkwater (johndrinkwater) wrote :

Due to a hardware issue, I installed 15.04 on a new hard drive and noticed this behaviour is different from my previous install as mentioned in this bug.
Previous system was Ubuntu 11.04 but updated through 12.04 and 14.04.
Upstream bug was closed as nothing changed on their end, so clearly there must be another configuration change in Ubuntu sometime over the years that changed this?

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