Enable Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to restart X

April 25th, 2009 | Tags: , ,

UPDATE: These steps work fine for Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty). For more recent Ubuntu versions you should take a look at this later post which has the correct steps.

The Ctrl-Alt-Backspace key combination which restarts X is by default disabled in X version 1.6 (and hence in Ubuntu 9.04). Follow the steps below to re-enable it.

  1. IMPORTANT Make a backup of your xorg.conf file. Note: messing up this file is not a good idea, so make a backup and be careful with it.

    cd /etc/X11
    sudo cp xorg.conf xorg.conf.backup
  2. Open xorg.conf for editing (substitute gedit for mousepad if you are on Ubuntu)

    sudo mousepad /etc/X11/xorg.conf
  3. Add the following section at the bottom of the file:

    Section "ServerFlags"
    Option "DontZap" "no"
  4. Save the file, log out and back in. You can try the Ctrl-Alt-Backspase combination at the login window to make sure it works as expected.