How to enable/disable Ctrl+Alt+Backspace from the command line

If you don’t want to use a user interface to change the effect of Ctrl+Alt+Backspace in any flavour of Ubuntu you can follow these steps:

1) Install the “dontzap” package
sudo apt-get install dontzap

2) Open Terminal or Konsole and type:
sudo dontzap --enable
or
sudo dontzap --disable

Where “disable” means that Ctrl+Alt+Backspace restarts the xserver while “enable” means that it won’t.

I’ll post something on the GTK UI when it’s ready.

26 thoughts on “How to enable/disable Ctrl+Alt+Backspace from the command line

  1. Thank you! This doesn’t require that you have an xorg.conf at all right? If so, yay!

    I still find it annoying that this is being disabled by default, especially so early in Jaunty (it’s darned useful when running unstable!).

  2. exactly what is the opposite of “restarting the xserver”?

    I mean, it should read;

    Where “disable” means that Ctrl+Alt+Backspace restarts the xserver while “enable” means that it wont.

    Opposites are not the same as anti-poles.

    1. Thanks for your correction. I was very tired when I wrote this post and that was the best description I could come up with.

  3. Thank you so much! I would like to add that after sudo dontzap –disable, one has to manually logout first before the settings are applied since the script adds a section to xorg.conf.

  4. Alberto,

    Good day. Its nothing to do with current blog but do you have any idea when nvidia 96.43.11 drivers will be added to Jaunty’s repositories? Awaiting reply and thankyou.

  5. Thanks for the reboot tip for it to work.Truly needed for testing jaunty all though my use of linux will soon be over on this box anyway.Asus mother board(pblk length 5) and the 845ge intel chipset.Gusty was the last release that worked correctly.Bring an old pc back to life with linux lol.I wish xorg would fix all this it’s been a year and a half of fighting on this old box.

  6. Thanks very much for the help. I had the package installed but couldn’t remember how to activate. :S

  7. This killed the tweaked xorg.conf I did have, how ‘nice’.

    It would be really good if you actually added the section if it didn’t exist and change it if needed or maybe atleast advertise that you made a backup and what name it has (yes I did find it, by reading the Python code eventually).

  8. I seem to found a very clean way to enable CtrlAltBackspace at a system level.

    Section “InputClass”
    Identifier “Default Layout”
    MatchIsKeyboard “yes”
    Option “XkbOptions” “terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp”
    EndSection

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *