Bug #193018 reported by DaveAbrahams on 2008-02-18
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
X.Org X server
xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: xorg

Apparently xorg is not treating these sequences as identical. The problem shows up (loudly) when trying to indent in a Microsoft application via rdesktop, although I'm sure you could see something similar running an X app over rdesktop.

Let me quote David Corbin from

  With some effort I've figured out that when you type SHIFT+ALT, that doesn't
  sent the same keystrokes that get sent when you type ALT-SHIFT. The first
  sends "SHIFT, META", while the latter send "ALT,SHIFT".

  This is very annoying to me, because the net-effect is that I end up with a
  "stuck ALT key" because I do this:

  ALT(down) [ sends ALT down]
  SHIFT(down) [sends SHIFT down ]
  ALT(up) [sends META up]
  SHIFT(up) [sends META up]

  If I'm really careful, I can remember to release the SHIFT key before the ALT
  key and things work OK.

  After googling a bit, I'm starting to thing this may be a problem wth the X11
  configuration, but it's anything but clear.

  Any comments on the "best" way to get this fixed?

As the followup to that message shows, there is a simple workaround:

  xmodmap -e "keysym Alt_L = Alt_L"

However, I shouldn't have to rely on Google to get this working, should I?

Changed in xorg:
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Confirmed
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Hi Dave,

I've reported this bug upstream at

If you could, please subscribe to that bug, so if upstream has questions or needs further information or testing, you can provide it directly. (But I suspect this may simply be a case of needing a quirk so hopefully should be easy.)

Changed in xorg-server:
status: New → Unknown
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Erf, mis-bugged there. Ignore the previous post.

This sounds similar to a bug that was recently fixed with alt keys getting stuck (bug #194214). Can you please re-test with current Hardy and see if the issue is still present? If it is, we can forward it upstream.

Changed in xorg:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Changed in xorg-server:
status: Unknown → Confirmed
DaveAbrahams (boostpro) wrote :

Yes, the issue is still present in the latest Hardy.

Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2008-07-30
Changed in xorg:
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Daniel Hollocher (chogydan) wrote :

It looks like Bryce forgot to remove this bug watch

Changed in xorg-server:
importance: Unknown → Undecided
status: Confirmed → New
Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2008-10-28
Changed in xorg-server:
status: New → Invalid
AlexGenaud (alexgenaud) wrote :

This (bad) behaviour is (bad) work-around to other bugs. Alt-Shift is the default language/keyboard layout shortcut. Nearly everyone outside of US/Anglo saxon world will expect this keyboard shortcut (including Mark Shuttleworth).

Just installed 10.10 and surprised these numerous Alt-Shift bugs have not been resolved. If Alt-Shift is used to switch keyboard layouts (as it is in Windows) then Alt-Shift-Tab (to switch windows in reverse, also standard Windows and Gnome behaviour) no longer works. However, Shift-Alt-Tab and Alt-Shift will work together -- certainly not an intuitive solution.

Perhaps someone can go through the possibly 800 bug reports and come up with common use cases, mark them all duplicate and finally solve these issues? (personally, I only encounter 1 or 2 error/use cases).

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