Is disabling ctrl-alt-backspace really such a good idea? - no.

Charlie Kravetz cjk at
Fri Feb 13 01:41:20 UTC 2009

On Thu, 12 Feb 2009 20:16:02 -0500
Mike Jones <eternalorb at> wrote:

> > <snip>    No.  What surprises me is when people are fine with those
> > bugs
> as
> > long
> > as there is a quick way to kill the X server that is enabled by
> > default. </snip>
> >
> >      People do file bugs. Perhaps not everyone, and perhaps not
> > every
> time.
> Well, then it shouldn't be too difficult to come up with a few bug
> reports to give others an idea of what's going on here.
> You are right, it is not difficult to come up with a few bug reports.
> What would you suggest I do to continue with my business in the case
> X needs to be restarted without forcing my to shut down my system
> while the bug report is being triaged?
> If a bug happens once, it is possible for it to happen again (else,
> how is debugging possible?), what if this same bug happens to be a
> second time? I am still waiting for the bug to be debugged, yet have
> no quick way to get back to work in the mean time.
> It is unreasonable to expect even users who have programing
> experience to use the terminal for honestly much more than occasional
> scripts. I have absolutely no desire to C-A-F#, find the program that
> is giving me fits, and then kill it in the hopes it fixes my issue.
> >     I'm one of those users who would prefer that the C-A-B command
> > be left as it is, or be modified to allow the ability through some
> > other
> interface:
> > such as twice successive.
> >
> >     I have filed several bug reports about issues related to
> > problems with X, for example.
> This is a kernel bug.  I would be very surprised if C-A-B worked here.
> C-A-B does not work in that instance, you are correct. But since you
> seem to know so much about it, could you please provide a fix for me?
> I have been unable to figure out anything beyond what I reported
> already. It happens regularly to myself and all members of my
> universities LUG who have the same model laptop as myself. To be
> frank, it is quite annoying, regardless of C-A-B or not. However,
> while that was a poor example, it is the first one I thought of. I
> can create several new bug reports for x-crashes or glitches that I
> don't feel confident in reporting just yet do to lack of information
> on my part, if you would like. The bugs I would report happen
> haphazardly enough that I can't predict their cause yet, and I am
> able to deal with these problems (in most cases) by simply
> brute-force hacking the problem away via calling C-A-B to get back to
> what I was doing as quickly as possible. The problem may exist in any
> of the programs that I'm currently using, or may be unrelated to all
> of them and a problem with any of the hardware devices I have. I
> don't know how to reproduce any of the issues with reliability, but I
> would be happy to report the problems for you.
> > But the problem is still going to be there for that person from
> > when they originally filed the bug until the problem has been
> > tracked down, until a fix has been written, until its been tested
> > to not break anything, until
> its
> > been patched to the package, until the package as been released, and
> finally
> > the package has been downloaded (and in the case of things like the
> kernal,
> > and graphics support) until the computer (or X) has been restarted.
> This is why we need to figure out if there's some sort of pattern
> behind the problems people are seeing.
> I agree with John Moser. Allow the user to go back to work, and
> automatically file a bug report using the apport interface. I assume
> thats why apport exists, to catch crashes and report them when
> possible. Otherwise... why does it pop up on my screen whenever a
> program crashes..?
> >     Once I submit a bug report about this issue, Can you give me a
> guarentee
> > that I will have an update sitting on my system within an amount of
> > time that make it reasonable to not have C-A-B immediately
> > available to me?
> If you really think you need it, it's really not that hard to enable
> it. Most people won't need it, so why should it be enabled by default?
> By the way, nobody will guarantee you anything unless you're willing
> to pay money.
> I'm not willing to pay money, as I have none. However, that was not
> the reason I said that. My (potentially incorrect) impression is that
> you assume users who use Ubuntu are responsible for submitting bug
> reports when they encounter broken functionality or instability. In
> many cases, C-A-B is a work around for bugs that otherwise have no
> currently implimented fix. In the case of the issues I reported
> above, I am well aware that volunteers don't normally volunteer for
> issues that they are not concerned about. My problems are not
> necessarially the problems of the Ubuntu Dev's. Having C-A-B allows
> me to go on with my day without needing to bother them.
>     Yes, I can change my configuration files to bring the
> functionality back after it is disabled, but my grandfather cannot.
> Nor can my mother, nor can many of the friends who I have installed
> Ubuntu for. Yes, I can personally help them change the behavior, but
> that is not the case for everyone. Some people use Ubuntu because it
> is free of cost, not necessarially because they are computer
> enthusists.
>     C-A-B is a work around. It is not intended to be a feature, it is
> intended to be a (sorry for my language in advance) "Oh Shit" button.
> If we can duplicate this same functionality via A-S-K, then I have
> absolutely no objections to disabling C-A-B. However, I personally do
> not want to ask my grandfather to switch to a terminal over the
> phone, and I personally do not want to ask him to hard-reset his
> system in the event that his Ubuntu installation has X lock on him.
> The terminal would just be a waste of his and my time, and the
> hard-reset could (emphasis) potentially damage his hardware.
>     Thomas, do you mind if I ask why you seem so adamant that C-A-B
> stay disabled? If we change it to A-S-K the accidental activation
> problem has a (in my opinion much) lower risk, but the workaround
> still exists for when people need it to. Would changing to A-S-K be
> acceptable to you? Or is there another underlying issue?

Okay, I have been reading this thread from the beginning. It seems like
those making the most noise are the same individuals with the knowledge
and ability to easily add the ability to use C-A-B back. Why should the
thousands who do not need the ability be forced to have it to make it
easier for the few that want it to be able to use it? 

Do you not customize your systems? This is just a very quick fix to
re-enable the keypresses for yourselves. The many thousands who could
care less are not even on the mailing list.

Charlie Kravetz 
Linux Registered User Number 425914          []
Never let anyone steal your DREAM.           []

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