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Disable reboot when ctrl-alt-del is pressed

This document (7023999) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12 
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15


When using a tty console, by default pressing ctrl alt del ( ctrl-alt-del )  will reboot the system. In some situations, this behavior may need to be disabled.

In a tty, the is a symlink to

SUSE:/home/SUSE/ # ls -lah /usr/lib/systemd/system/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 13 Jul 11 09:12 /usr/lib/systemd/system/ ->

In gnome, we see that ctrl-alt-delete points to a logout plugin:

SUSE:/home/SUSE/ # gsettings list-recursively logout '<Control><Alt>Delete'


To change the reboot behavior to no longer reboot in a tty on ctrl-alt-del, point the symlink to /dev/null instead and the key combination will no longer reboot the system:

ln -sf /dev/null /usr/lib/systemd/system/

Now check to ensure the symlink has been updated as expected:

SUSE:/home/SUSE/ #  ls -lah /usr/lib/systemd/system/
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 9 Jul 11 09:23 /usr/lib/systemd/system/ -> /dev/null
You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/logan

Ctrl-alt-del reboot has now been disabled. Test ctrl-alt-del to verify.

To change this behavior to no longer reboot in gnome on ctrl-alt-del, change the value for the logout key to something else. In the following example, it will be changed to ctrl-alt-shift-del requiring shift to be pressed as well. Run the following logged into gnome for the user you wish to change:

gsettings set logout '<Control><Alt><Shift>Delete'

Now test ctrl-alt-del. This will need to be run for each user which you wish to change the ctrl-alt-del behavior for.


Once SLES or SLED has booted to a tty (not, ctrl-alt-delete is controlled by by systemd from a text console. By default, we see that the is a symlink to 

Gnome (or SLE-Classic) uses hotkeys to reboot with the logout gnome plugin. By default, it is ctrl-alt-del.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for NetIQ/Novell/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:7023999
  • Creation Date:11-JUL-19
  • Modified Date:18-DEC-19
    • SUSESUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
      SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
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