Emergency problem

Mark J. Dulcey mark at buttery.org
Sun Aug 10 00:28:42 BST 2008

George E Noon wrote:
> I am really stumped!
> I really never thought I would have this sort of problem with my Ubuntu
> Linux Computer.
> I now have no way to input numerical characters at all, except in the
> Thunderbird Compose window, for some odd reason.
> I am about in a panic, which doesn't help, I know. I can not shut down &
> restart, because my username is composed partly of numerical characters;
> no, I have not tried restarting yet --- but I did try running Update Manager,
> which, of course would require entering the superuser password; no matter what
> I tried --- caps lock  on, caps lock off, caps lock on + shift, caps lock  off + 
> shift --- no numericals!!!
> This means if the computer goes down, for any reason, I can not get to the
> desktop without a complete new install.
> Please - does anyone have an idea for a fix.
> I have also tried two keyboards --- no change.						
> George E Noon

First, stuff like that is likely to clear up after a restart, so you 
probably won't really be up the creek. But some things to try first...

If you have a spare USB keyboard lying around, try plugging it in. USB 
keyboards are automatically hot-plugged, and perhaps the replacement 
keyboard will work correctly. You can have more than one USB keyboard 
live at the same time, or live at the same time as a non-USB keyboard, 
so you don't even need to unplug the one you are using now.

If you are running the ssh daemon on the computer (that is, you have the 
openssh-server package installed), you could use another computer to log 
in remotely. With X windows forwarding (ssh -X), you could even run 
update-manager, synaptic, or other GUI apps on the remote system.

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