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Re: [Fwd: Re: Alt key not working]

On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 05:16:56AM EST, roberto wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 1:20 AM, Chris Jones <cjns1989@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Basically says that your Alt key is mapped to AltGr.
> >
> > Try:
> >
> > $ xmodmap -
> > keycode 113 = Alt_R
> > Ctrl+Dน
> >
> > And check whether your Alt key is working again.
> >
> > CJ
> >
> > น Followed by a dash, xmodmap reads your commands form stdin. After
> > ?remapping your Alt key, you need to hit the Control and the D keys
> > ?simulataneously to tell xmodmap that you're done.
> i can say that it started to work again, but i say also that its
> behavior its strange:
> Alt_L: i can switch between applications, by Alt_L + Tab
> Alt_R + Tab: i cannot

To undo the change and get back to where you were:

$ xmodmap -
keycode 113 = ISO_Level3_Shift

OK. I see from another post that you are running KDE?

I don't have a KDE system anywhere, but I vaguely remember something
about a "control center", was it.. where you could do some keyboard
remapping in a GUI. 

Is there anything in there where you can tell KDE that you want the
right Alt key to do something different?

Do you normally use the "plain US" keyboard layout..? Is there a place
in the KDE GUI where you can add keyboard layouts and make one the
default? If so what is the current default? Any mention of something
like Alternate US International or such..?

Do you have gnome or maybe XFCE installed? If so, when on the login
screen, you should have a pull-down menu that lets you switch to another
desktop - you could check whether this Alt-R behavior only happens in
KDE. If you don't have any other desktop installed, you could apt-get
XFCE and see if the Alt key works as you expect. 

Since you stated that it happened without your wittingly doing anything
that might affect the keyboard, and barring the unlikely but more
sinister possibility that someone else did - IOW, that you have been
rooted¹ - I can only think that something that you recently installed
must have tried to do you a favor without letting you know. 

Since I very much doubt debian, especially stable, would do anything
like that, I was wondering if maybe you could have installed software
from anywhere outside official debian repositories, either via
apt/aptitude pointing elsewhere via /etc/apt/sources.list, or a .deb you
downloaded, a tarball, CVS, git, mercurial trees, or closed source stuff
that comes with a Windows-styled 'installer'..? 

What I'm saying is that stuff like that does not just happen, especially
since I think you stated that you run stable, aka 5.0.

What is the output of this command?

$ locale

And that one:

$ setxkbmap -v 10 -print

> Alt_L: i can access menus of applications
> Alt_R: i can !
> Alt_L: i can access the i-th tab of firefox by Alt_L + i
> Alt_R: i cannot

That's a cool trick.. unfortunately I mostly use Seamonkey and it
appears to be only supported by FF. 

> the actual output (after the above modifications) of xmodmap is:
> ~$ xmodmap
> xmodmap:  up to 3 keys per modifier, (keycodes in parentheses):
> shift       Shift_L (0x32),  Shift_R (0x3e)
> lock        Caps_Lock (0x42)
> control     Control_L (0x25),  Control_R (0x6d)
> mod1        Alt_L (0x40),  Meta_L (0x9c)
> mod2        Num_Lock (0x4d)
> mod3
> mod4        Super_L (0x7f),  Hyper_L (0x80)
> mod5        Mode_switch (0x5d),  Alt_R (0x71),  ISO_Level3_Shift (0x7c)

You want: 

$ xmodmap -pk | less
113         0xffea (Alt_R)

Says that my 113 is known by X as Alt_R, which I think is what you want.

> thanks again

Not recommending the keycode thing as a solution. You really need to
figure out what happened and caused the Alt key to start misbehaving,
and undo those changes, or understand them and then decide how you
should correct them. I have never even seen a PC keyboard with an AltGr
key, so it's difficult for me to guess, but this article might refresh
your memories and provide clues as to how this right Alt key apparently
turned into an AltGr:


Unfortunately, I don't know enough about these issues to do much more
than ask questions that might push you in the right direction.


¹ Probably irrelevant, but a useful read anyway:


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