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Keyboard stops working after logging into the GNOME desktop

This document (7007944) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise 11
openSUSE 11.x
Using the GNOME Desktop.


The keyboard is working fine at the login screen but after successfully logging into GNOME the keyboard no longer works.


Step 1:  Verify that the keyboard settings in GNOME are correct.  Using the mouse open the Main (Computer) Menu and select Control Center.  Under the Hardware catagory select Keyboard.  Under the Layout tab verify that the Keyboard model and Layout are correct. Use the "Type to test settings:" field at the bottom to test the keyboard.  If the keyboard still does not work then follow the next step.

Step 2:  Using the mouse, open the Main (Computer) Menu and select YaST.  Under the Hardware catagory select Keyboard Layout.  Change the keyboard type to any other reasonable setting such as Generic 104-key PC then OK the settings.  Check to see if the keyboard is working.  If it is working then follow the next step.

Step 3:  To tell GNOME to use the X server's keyboard settings (which are working fine during login) logout of GNOME then press the key combination Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get to virtual terminal 1 (or VT1) which is a text based terminal.  At the login prompt enter "root" and when asked for the password enter the root user's password.  This will bring you to a command prompt.  Enter the following command:

NOTE:  This command is all one line, do not break it up as it may appear to be here.

gconftool-2 --direct --config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.mandatory --type bool --set /apps/gnome_settings_daemon/plugins/keyboard/active false

There should be no errors returned when this command is run.  If you get any errors double check the command to make sure there are no mistakes including spaces where appropriate.  After the command runs with no errors then switch back to the graphic login screen by pressing the key combination Ctrl-Alt-F7.  Login and check to see if the keyboard is working.

Additional Information

If the problem persists there may be a compatibility problem that could be resolved by installing the latest updates.  If the system was registered during the installation but updates were not installed, switch to VT1 by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1.  The terminal should still be logged in as root from our previous instructions.  Enter the command "zypper up" to install all updates.

If the system was not registered and you have access to the Internet using port 443 (https) then you can register the system using this command:

suse_register -a email=<YourEmail> -a regcode-sled=<YourRegistrationCode>

NOTE:  Replace "regcode-sled" with "regcode-sles" if you are registering SUSE Linux Enterprise Server rather than Desktop.

Once registration is complete run "zypper up" to install updates.  When complete reboot the system and see if the keyboard is working in GNOME.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7007944
  • Creation Date: 17-Feb-2011
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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