Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weird Keyboard Malfunction

It was a weird experience. I was working on Arch Linux in a VM( Sun VirtualBox) in a remote X session from a thin client. Suddenly, the keyboard seemed to have stopped working. Function and control keys seemed to work partially. But normal keys were totally ignored. Ctrl-alt-Fn also did not behave correctly.

I naturally assumed that the VM must have caused the problem.

I rebooted the thin client - same behaviour. I switched from LXDE to Gnome. Same behaviour. Rebooted the main machine - still the same scene.

The same user worked fine on the main system; however, I realised later that the desktop was KDE.

I then tried KDE and keys worked fine.

I assumed that I must have updated some package which caused the problem. But the last update was four days ago. Hence, that was not a likely cause. Also, I could use the gnome desktop using an alternate account.

After quite a bit of struggle, I found the problem to be related to SCIM. I must have pressed some short-cut keys which caused the keyboard to seem to be abnormal! At least, I assume so because after using the input pad with the mouse and exiting from SCIM, the keyboard has been working fine.

Hopefully, I will find time to reproduce the problem and add an update to this post.

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