How to Restore Ctrl+Alt+Backspace

In older versions of Ubuntu, Ctrl+Alt+Backspace ended the present x session and brought a person back to the login screen. This was very useful when an unfortunate piece of software froze the screen. Unfortunately, it sometimes led to data loss when files were shut down so suddenly. In the past two versions of Ubuntu, it has been turned off.

Since it is only used when the available alternative is to go for the power button, I feel that it should be turned back on. I have recently found out about a way to do so. It involves installing the software “dontzap” from the Ubuntu repository:

sudo aptitude install dontzap.

Then, in your terminal or from the Alt+F2 run line, type sudo dontzap –disable.

If for some reason you find you wish to put an end to the ability to use Ctrl+Alt+Backspace, you can then type:

sudo dontzap –enable.

Personally, I’m a zapper. It can be too hard to remember Alt+SysReq+REISUB, and that string does not always work.

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May 2009
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