I would like to disable the Ctrl-Alt-Backspace combination using a command line tool, without root priviliges.

I know I can use setxkbmap to enable “zapping” with the option terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp. Further, setxkbmap -option [naming no option] removes all options. Is there a way to unset only one option?

  • Maybe this will help. – MatthewRock Sep 14 '15 at 10:47
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    setxkbmap -option -option $(setxkbmap -query | sed -n '/options:\s*\|terminate:[^,]*/s///gp') – Costas Sep 14 '15 at 11:15
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    @don_crissti I hope that there is more correct decision than my crutch… – Costas Sep 14 '15 at 13:59
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    @Costas - alas, there is no straightforward way, setxkbmap -option -option new:options is the easiest way. – don_crissti Sep 14 '15 at 14:04

A little bit crutched: remove all options using -option with an empty argument first, then set same options with terminate excluded from the list:

setxkbmap -option -option $(setxkbmap -query |
    sed -n 's/options:\s*\(terminate:[^:]*,\)\?\|,terminate:[^,]*//gp')
  • To be clear, I was looking for something more straightforward — like you said yourself. It really seems there should be an option to do that, but if there isn't, this is The Answer. – xebtl Sep 15 '15 at 7:03
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    The command is missing a closing '. I'd edit it, but apparently it's not a substantive enough edit to make it through. :) – Ian Hunter Dec 19 '17 at 20:46

From my experience (limited) what worked best was using:

setxkbmap -query

And that prints out your current settings ( setxkbmap -print is another alternative to show your current keyboard settings) Then delete all the options by using the -option without any arguments:

setxkbmap -option

Then reintroduce the new options one at time:

setxkbmap -option key:key_replacement

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