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Today I had to force-shutdown my machine after it froze during resume from suspend. Since the reboot, I've found that the p key doesn't work normally in X. It does work normally in the console.

Modified keypresses, e.g. shift-p, ctrl-p, do work normally.

Pressing p with xev running gives

FocusOut event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x5000001,
    mode NotifyGrab, detail NotifyAncestor

FocusIn event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x5000001,
    mode NotifyUngrab, detail NotifyAncestor

KeymapNotify event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x0,
    keys:  2   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   
           0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   

Could this problem be happening because of file corruption? What file would I check for corruption?

I've done an fsck on the system drive —by running tune2fs -C 200 /dev/sda3 before rebooting— which seems to have come up clean. I.E.

$ sudo tune2fs -l /dev/sda3 | grep 'state\|check'
Filesystem state:         clean
Last checked:             Sat Dec 11 12:27:16 2010
Next check after:         Thu Jun  9 13:27:16 2011

I'm running an updated (last dist-upgrade done yesterday) ubuntu 10.10.

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cross-posted to askubuntu – intuited Dec 11 '10 at 18:46
That output on xev when you press p is due to a focus change. As you've just realized, you've inadvertently defined p as a window manager (or xbindkeys or other X keyboard shortcut utility) shortcut with no apparent effect. The event is intercepted before xev can see it. – Gilles Dec 11 '10 at 20:50
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've realized that this was happening because of a typo I made when manually editing my xfce keyboard shortcuts file.

Specifically, the file ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts.xml used the modifier Meta5 (which doesn't exist) instead of Mod5 to modify the p key.

I did note that no errors were recorded in ~/.xsession-errors, despite the fact that xfce seems to register things there.

It may be useful to some people to note that one of my reasons for editing the file was in order to make the same shortcuts work with or without the Keyboard Layouts applet being loaded. Depending on whether or not that applet is loaded, the "windows" key will register as either <Super> or <Mod5>.

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