Ubuntu, I want my Secure Attention Key back!

frank y199mp1505 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 8 13:18:54 UTC 2010

Hello Ubuntu,

This bug about the Secure Attention Key, SAK,


was recorded in February 2009 for version 9.04. In almost one year,
nothing has been done about it. It has no priority, it is not
assigned to any developer.

I have the bug in version 9.10 32-bit and can add a few details:

(1) In the text console, same as in bug report.

(2) On the desktop, if you are slow pressing <Alt><SysRq><K> a
     dialog pops up offering a screen shot. After which, no SAK. If
     you are quick, the desktop restarts, everything seems normal but
     it isn't. As soon as you press, e.g. <Ctrl><Alt><F1>, your PC
     is frozen, all you can do is power off.

(3) Any SAK you have written yourself into the keymap in the text
     console or in X11 is ignored.

The bug seems at first related to a Debian bug of August 2009


where the console-kit-daemon takes the blame. However, I have disabled
the console-kit-daemon and SAK is still giving me kernel panic.

Is the bug hardware-dependent? The original bug filing mentions that
it occurs on AMD machines but not necessarily on other hardware. My
motherboard is also AMD based.

It is time to take action.



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