In any terminal operating under GNOME, if I press Ctrl+C, I only see a question mark. Same goes for Ctrl+Z. The output of stty -a | grep intr is:

intr = ^C; quit = ^\; erase = ^?; kill = ^U; eof = ^D; eol = M-^?; eol2 = M-^?;

I can use the sequence under all other tty's (outside X), and can also use it for another user; only one user is affected. How can I fix this?

  • What shell does that user use? Could you post the contents of the profile file (typically .bashrc for bash)? Sep 21, 2011 at 13:04
  • shell: bash, os: gentoo. The profile is located in /etc/profile. I put its output in pastebin. But I don't think something is wrong in it. Its the same for all users.
    – Omar Khan
    Sep 21, 2011 at 14:13
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    /etc/profile is the global file - I meant the user profile, which in that case should be $HOME/.bashrc or $HOME/.bash_profile. Sep 21, 2011 at 14:43
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    If you try a different terminal such as xterm, does Ctrl+C work there? What is displayed if you enter echo '^V^C' | hd, where you must type Ctrl+V then Ctrl+C where I wrote ^V^C? Sep 21, 2011 at 23:43
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    @rozcietrzewiacz hd is the same as hexdump -C, which is like od -t x1 -A x but with an extra column showing printable characters, plus it's more memorable. It's a BSD utility, which Debian and Ubuntu ship; other Linux distributions may ship only hexdump or neither. Sep 22, 2011 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


The problem lied somewhere in the keyboard preferences under gnome-keyboard-properties. Reset to defaults under layout fixed everything. I was able to then re-do the same settings I had before. The good thing is, it works now. The bad thing, I could not catch the specific reason why it behaved this way.

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