Pound sign kills X

Not sure when exactly, but my install has developed a really weird problem.

After starting xfce, typing a pound sign on my gb layout keyboard causes X to lock up and freeze. I’ve recently realised that shift + that weird key in the top left of the keyboard (below ESC) also results in a lock up.

This only occurs after starting X. All keyboards cause this error. Typing in the VC works fine.

I can’t find a clue in any log.

At first I thought this was locale related. But I still get a similar error when I try to type ‘#’ (also shift+3) after forcing a us keymap. Interestingly, I can cut and paste the pound sign from another location, so it’s not a problem simply displaying the character.

I thought maybe some process or script had become bound to shift+3, but I can’t find anything.

Here is my locale and keyboard info:

carl@doolittle:~ $ localectl status
System Locale: LANG=en_GB.UTF-8
               LC_COLLATE=C
    VC Keymap: uk
   X11 Layout: gb
    X11 Model: pc105
carl@doolittle:~ $ locale
LANG=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_CTYPE="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_NUMERIC="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_TIME="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_COLLATE=C
LC_MONETARY="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_MESSAGES="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_PAPER="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_NAME="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_ADDRESS="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_TELEPHONE="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_MEASUREMENT="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_IDENTIFICATION="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_ALL=

it’s not much info, but I really don’t have a clue here. I can’t think of any way to debug this.

Any help appreciated!

At a guess: is it possible that there is some modifier somewhere causing an issue?

To check, you could use the xev utility to get the X keycode of shift+3, and see if that’s a strange value.

I’m on Wayland not X11 but on my system LC_COLLATE="en_GB.UTF-8".

$ localectl status
System Locale: LANG=en_GB.UTF-8
    VC Keymap: uk
   X11 Layout: gb

$ locale
LANG=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_CTYPE="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_NUMERIC=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_TIME=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_COLLATE="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_MONETARY=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_MESSAGES="en_GB.UTF-8"
LC_PAPER=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_NAME=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_ADDRESS=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_TELEPHONE=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_MEASUREMENT=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_IDENTIFICATION=en_GB.UTF-8
LC_ALL=

Thanks for the suggestions.

I’m not sure that is a valid setting for LC_COLLATE. I tried it anyway. No change.

Tried xev…great idea. Also gave evtest a go. The problem is X freezes the instant i hit shift+3, so I don’t get to see any update in these programs.

This is such a bizarre problem. All I can think of now is a clean install…

I did some Googling and found a hit for this problem: https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/341406/x11-freezes-instantly-with-shift-3

There, the fix was to remove dbus-launch --exit-with-session from .xinitrc. Not sure if that’s going to help here, of course. The other interesting tidbit was that it was a problem on specifically a Mac, and Mac’s may have slightly different keyboards.

3 Likes

I am both delighted you’ve found a solution, and disappointed at my google skills!

why that dbus flag caused that error, I would love to know!

for anyone else with the same problem, the following change to .xinitrc “fixes” it:

carl@doolittle:~ $ diff .xinitrc .xinitrc.old
42c42
< 	local dbus_args=(--sh-syntax)
---
> 	local dbus_args=(--sh-syntax --exit-with-session)

starting xfce directly with startxfce4 also works

cheers dgdg

It certainly is - Locale - ArchWiki

But seems that was nothing to do with your issue anyway. Strange one, I used X11 with KDE for 2+ years until I switched to Wayland when Plasma 6 was released, and I never had this problem. Maybe it’s GTK related since all the issue reports seem to be from GNOME or Xfce users.

1 Like

ok

I look forward to ditching xorg. So many dumb problems…

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