Ubuntu, I want my Secure Attention Key back!

Tommy Trussell tommy.trussell at gmail.com
Sun Jan 10 14:31:35 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 7:18 AM, frank <y199mp1505 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello Ubuntu,
> This bug about the Secure Attention Key, SAK,
>     https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/329576
> 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
>     http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=543324
> 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.

ONE way to take action is to add what you just wrote plus any other
relevant details to that bug report. Be sure to include the Debian bug
you mentioned. At the moment, the last comment on the bug mentions
that it happens on certain hardware but not others, so you might also
test it on different hardware and also mention your results in the bug

You might also note that a Google search for Secure Attention Key
brings up other reports of problems, including a post at lwn.net in
2001 saying there were problems with SAK at the kernel level and that
it's obvious it was not being well tested.

SO if this is an important issue for you, you may need to describe how
it is important in your context and either get others "invested" into
getting it fixed, or learn more about what it involves so you can help
get it fixed.

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