Very recently, maybe within the last two weeks this issue has started cropping up: once maybe every two days or so, the up and down arrow keys simply stop working for a while - I can move the cursor left and right, I can type characters, but I cannot move to the previous and next lines without using the mouse. The issue lasts for a few seconds/minutes and then is gone. I know that's very vague, but it's shown up on maddeningly different platforms:

  • While typing in Firefox on the built-in keyboard of a personal laptop running Arch Linux. Nobody else has access to it, and I very rarely bring it to work.
  • While typing in IntelliJ IDEA on various external keyboards of at least two work desktops running Fedora 21. The desktops are rotated randomly (because of pair programming) and all have two keyboards attached via a hub.

The only thing I can think of that these have in common is that I use setxkbmap -device N -layout us -variant dvorak-alt-intl -option compose:caps on the work desktops and my laptop is configured to use this layout by default.

Is this a known issue?

  • 1
    Sounds like coincidence. Is there a connection (at least between some). Maybe 99% are connected and 1 is coincidence. – ctrl-alt-delor Jul 25 '15 at 10:37
  • @richard To me it's incredibly unlikely that such a bug should hit two completely different platforms around the same time. Do you have a reason to believe it could be coincidence? – l0b0 Jul 25 '15 at 11:02
  • yes: my reason for believing that is may be coincidence is that it's incredibly unlikely that such a bug should hit two completely different platforms around the same time. – ctrl-alt-delor Jul 25 '15 at 20:23

It's going to be pretty hard to give a solid answer without just taking shots in the dark, but since this is happening on separate hardware and software, this may have something to do with any programs which run cross-platform which have settings and run via an interpreter or similar. For example the collection of extensions you run in Firefox or a background daemon you're running in Python. Another thing might be some keybindings you keep set across machines or something like that, or there may be some other common application that has some low-level issues capable of causing this behavior consistently.

Alternatively, one of your friends or workmates has gone way out of their way to slowly, subtley ruin your day. Barring that, you are developing superpowers you simply haven't learned to control yet.

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