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Old 08-10-2004, 04:24 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Durham, UK
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How to make Alt+Ctrl+DEL work in linux

I would like to be able to use those keys to make the KDE process manager appear. Even better would be if I could get it to open as root.

Old 08-10-2004, 06:11 AM   #2
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At least on a PC architecture, Ctrl+Alt+Delete sends a software interrupt to the init process, which processes it as per the ctrlaltdel entry in the /etc/inittab file.

In the /etc/inittab file, you may have a line looking something like this:
# What to do when CTRL-ALT-DEL is pressed.
ca:12345:ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t1 -a -h now
If so, modify it like below. If not, add a new one like below:
Now create a script file, and save it as /etc/onctrlaltdel. The file should read something like:
DISPLAY=:0.0 /opt/kde3/bin/kdeprocman
I don't know what the KDE process manager is called or where it resides on your particular system; you may need to change the /opt/kde3/bin/kdeprocman bit (“echo $KDEDIR” might tell you where to start looking).

Mark your script as executable:
chmod a+rx /etc/onctrlaltdel
. It should now run (as root) every time you press Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Btw, the DISPLAY=:0.0 bit just sets up an environment variable ($DISPLAY) that tells the program which X-windows display to open on.

I hope that's of some help,

— Robert J. Lee
Old 08-10-2004, 06:49 AM   #3
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Right. This is the way to do it if you type CtrlAltDel from a console window. But then in your script, you may want to check if X is running on display :0 (see lock files in /tmp), and if not, run
startx /path/to/kdeprocman -- :0

If you type CtrlAltDel while in X, chances are that nothing will happen, because then X receives all key strokes. If that's your case, then you'll have to install a utility to grab keys, such as xbindkeys, and configure it to launch "sudo /etc/yourcommand" on CtrlAltDel. Of course, you'll have to also install sudo, and configure it to allow this command for everyone on local machine without asking for a password.

Old 08-10-2004, 01:38 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2004
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If you're using KDE, just go to the Control Center and change the keyboard shortcuts. You can set Ctrl+Alt+Del to whatever you want. I've set it to XKill (Kill A Window), so that I can just click the frozen program window to kill it. Much, much more useful and faster than the "Windows way" of opening the Task Manager.
Old 08-10-2004, 03:45 PM   #5
Registered: Jul 2003
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ctrl+alt+esc does the xkill thing by default, i need the task manager for hideen processes but thanks for the help.
Old 08-14-2004, 09:59 PM   #6
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal
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just type ctrl+esc you'll get the process manager ctrl+alt+esc gives you a skull and bone to kill any open window
Old 08-15-2004, 06:32 AM   #7
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Debian Squeeze
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cool, thanks
i also know about ctrl+esc and ctrl+f1 seems to do the same, but i didnt know ctrl+alt+esc


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