Please revert Xorg decision to disable Ctrl-Alt-Backspace

Gerry Reno greno at
Fri Mar 27 17:39:48 PDT 2009

Dear Xorg community,
  In reading the Release Notes for the Alpha version of Fedora 11 I 
noticed a very disturbing change involving disabling the default 
Ctrl-Alt-Backspace behavior of killing the X server.  This default 
behavior has been able to be counted on by sysadmins for years as a 
means of controlling the X server.  It is now part of a sysadmins DNA.  
This default behavior is also relied upon by many tools especially 
virtualization tools which have Ctrl-Alt-Backspace embedded in their 
menu options and functions for controlling a virtual machines behavior.

  I read in the Fedora Release Notes the assertions that this change was 
due to users complaining about confusion regarding the control key 
sequences relating to the X server.  That argument was no doubt made by 
some in the Emacs community who find that the Emacs key sequences are 
similar to the Xorg sequences.  I will tell you that this argument about 
confusion is totally bogus from an entire Linux community standpoint.  
The Emacs community is miniscule in size comparison to the overall Linux 
community.  In over thirty years of working with *nix systems and 
thousands of users and machines not once has a user ever complained 
about confusion or problems involving the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace key 
combination.  I am concerned because it appears that a tiny minority of 
Emac users have managed to lobby for a very significant change in 
default behavior for X server control to the detriment of the majority 
of users and administrators in the Linux community.  Already there are a 
number of angry threads popping up around the internet related to this 
issue.  Please look at this particular thread that I started in the 
Fedora Development forum:

  I am asking Xorg to immediately reconsider its decision with respect 
to this change in default behavior regarding Ctrl-Alt-Backspace.  Please 
revert this change.

  Thank you.

Gerry Reno

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