Keyboard stops working on Ubuntu – slow-keys

Since I started using i3, every now and then it would seem as though my keyboard’s stopped working. Usually, I just reboot the machine and it starts working again. This time though, I wanted to try and work out why it happened.

I noticed that if I held a key down, it would actually output it to the screen. A bit of searching later, and it seems as though I’d accidentally managed to enable slow-keys by holding down shift for 8 seconds.

The majority of the solutions involve opening up keyboard preferences and disabling it. Unforunately, I don’t have a menu to find this in so I needed to disable it via the command line. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to do.

# Install xkbset for managing keyboard options
sudo apt-get install xkbset
# Disable slow-keys
xkbset -sl
# Disable accessibility so slow-keys won't turn back on
xkbset -a

12 thoughts on “Keyboard stops working on Ubuntu – slow-keys

  1. Great advice. I use kubuntu 1404, slow keys disabled, yet still had that sluggish behavior. This worked quite well. So somehow slow keys have been enabled but not been shown as such.

  2. I just had the same thing happen, but a different cause. Firefox had linked up with the “save as” panel open (in a developer release, Ubuntu 16.04). Nothing worked to produce keyboard input until I forced a quit of Firefox.

  3. A big thanks! I switched to linux mint a year back so its a newer OS to me. Had that elusive problem too. Thanks for posting info on it. Not something I ever ran across using Windows. LOL

  4. post still working …. tks (Lubuntu Linux Laptop 4.4.0-77-generic #98-Ubuntu SMP Wed Apr 26 08:33:44 UTC 2017 i686 i686 i686 GNU/Linux ), regards, fabiano

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