Writing down my thoughts once ince a while

Keyboard Auto-Repeat disabled automatically with KDE 4.2 and X.org/X11/HAL

with 11 comments

I was having this problem all day and I think I found the culprit, finally –> me!
Running KDE 4.2 and HAL-configured keyboard and mouse.

I am posting this only to help others who might be having the same problem and have found nothing relevant after Googling all day (like I have).
You can share your different problems in the comments but I’m not sure I can provide you with any assistance in solving this or other problems.

If you ever went to your KDE 4.2 “System Settings” dialog, clicked on “Keyboard & Mouse” then selected “Enable keyboard repeat” but later decided to disable it (thinking it was only a way to customize your keyboard repeat rate and delay, not enable or disable it —  how embarrassing), after a reboot of your system, you will soon find that you don’t have auto-repeat turned on anymore. I didn’t notice this immediately after I turned off auto-repeat from withing the Settings dialog :/.

So all you have to do now is turn it back on. The default delay and rate should be 500 and 30 but you can now set them to whatever values you want.
I also had other problems when this was disabled, like Shift acting as Caps Lock but I later found out it was because Sticky Keys was on — be sure to disable that along with the Activation Gestures from the “Accessibility” dialog.

I wonder if starting KDE under a new user will still have this problem… but too lazy to test after I found my fix.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone.

EDIT: Check the user comments. The issue seems to be fixable in different ways.


Written by brokenthorn

February 15, 2009 at 02:46

Posted in KDE, Linux, Ubuntu

Tagged with , , , , ,

11 Responses

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  1. Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
    Instead, the power company will pay YOU!


    March 2, 2009 at 19:12

  2. Hi,

    I have been struck with the same issue. No auto-repeat. However, `xset r` seems to solve the issue for me. Hope it helps.


    Alan Haggai Alavi

    March 9, 2009 at 17:04

  3. If you’re having a similar problem but don’t even have the 5th icon to change keyboard settings you have _another_ problem. Odds are you have gnome-control-center installed… as of KDE4.2 KDE isn’t reading OnlyShowIn correctly from .desktop files. The (temporary) fix is to rename /usr/share/applications/keyboard.desktop ->/usr/share/applications/keyboard.desktop.old to allow KDE configuration. Obviously you’ll have to revert when using gnome.

    There is a bug report here:


    March 10, 2009 at 21:44

    • I don’t think this is my case. I don’t have /usr/share/applications/keyboard.desktop or the ”gnome-control-center” installed.
      The problem should reside in that KDE doesn’t offer an option to not manage the keyboard repeat and repeat rate settings. In extension, this means that if you enable repeat (specifically!), it repeats; if you disable repeat, it doesn’t repeat, but there is no ‘don’t specifically turn on repeat’.
      Makes sense, doesn’t it? 😀

      I haven’t reported this bug due to my laziness but I’m sure others already have. 😉


      March 14, 2009 at 22:27

  4. Thank you NaterGator, I’ve been looking for a solution to this problem on and off for the past week. I used an Ubuntu 9.04 Beta install disc and installed the Kubuntu packages afterwards without removing Gnome, so renaming the file you mentioned gave me back the Keyboard module in System Settings. I had previously added the appropriate lines in my xorg.conf file but the system seems to ignore them.

    Andrew Matta

    April 11, 2009 at 18:24

  5. Until the bug is fixed, you can always run gnome-keyboard-properties and change settings there.


    April 21, 2009 at 17:08

  6. Thanks a million! I didn’t expect this fix to work, because System Settings showed that keyboard repeat was already enabled and I’ve never turned it off. My problem turned out to be bogus values for Delay and Rate (maybe carried over from KDE 3.5?), so just setting them to 500 and 30 fixed the problem.


    May 20, 2009 at 04:29

    • I didn’t check my values then, nor did I try and change them.
      This is interesting. I mean that the problem is still out there after all this time.
      It’s probably considered a minor issue.


      May 21, 2009 at 20:12

  7. Thank you so much for this solution. Once I set my values to 500 and 30, respectively, I no longer have the Enable Keyboard Repeat automagically unchecked. I believe my issue occurred when I repaired the default KUbuntu panel. I remember having to reselect my keyboard. Perhaps the default keyboard settings were not defined as part of this exercise and my keyboard settings might have been set to some random values. Anyhow, this work-around put things straight.


    March 25, 2010 at 17:26

    • Just a quick follow-up. I later noticed that using 500 and 30, respectively did not address the issue for me. My settings are 660 (delay), 25.00 (rate), which I believe to be the default. The Enable keyboard repeat check box is now staying checked. I believe it is no longer being unchecked because I now have NumLock on KDE Startup set to Leave unchanged. I had recently changed it to Turn on.

      With NumLock set to Leave unchanged, keyboard repeat has been working correctly for the last two days. I also don’t think this issue is related to rebuilding the KDE desktop settings, as it prompted me to select/install my language, which was already English but did not require me to make changes to the keyboard settings.


      March 28, 2010 at 17:46



    November 5, 2010 at 17:59

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