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I’ve recently realized that the CTRL + ALT + BACKSPACE keyboard combination is no longer working in Debian unstable.
This good old well known keyboard combination to restart X is not working with my xorg 7.5+8 under my Gnome 2.30 desktop
However thanksfully there is another combination to kill the X server if for instance if your Gnome desktop hangs.
If that happens simply press ALT + PRINTSCREEN + K this will kill your X and then reload the (Gnome Display manager) gdm.
Another suggestion I’ve red in the forums of a way to enable back CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE is to put in either .bashrc or .xinitrc the following command
setxkbmap -option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp
BTW It’s better that the above command is placed in ~/.xinitrc.
I’ve also red on some forums that in newer releases of Ubuntu. The CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE can be enabled using a specific command, e.g. with: