SOLVED (Re: [CentOS] Backspace key is sending Delete after update to 4.4 (tcsh issue?))

Rodrigo Barbosa rodrigob at
Mon Sep 4 00:39:44 UTC 2006

Hash: SHA1

I'm providing a summary here for easy searching, including the problem
and the solution. I tried adding it to the CentOS Wiki, but unfortunately
I don't have permission.

The problem started with xterm-192-1.EL4.0. CentOS 4.4 includes
version 192-4.EL4, while CentOS 4.3 includes 192-1 (before the

when the following lines (along others) were added to the XTerm resource
files, located at:

Other relevant resource files might include UXTerm and XTerm-color,
on the same directory.

The lines (2):

! keyboard setup
*VT100*backarrowKey: false

This particular resource will cause all VT terminals to disable the
backarrowKey feature, which means BS will no longer send ^H, but will
send DEL instead (^?).

To test this behaviour, open an xterm, and use Control-LeftButton to
open one of the configuration windows (hold the left button of your
mouse down), selecting the "Backarrow Key (BS/DEL)" option. When
enabled, you get ^H. When disabled, you get ^?.

The least intrusive way to fix this is to create a .Xresources file
on the user home directory (~/.Xresources), adding the following

*VT100*backarrowKey: true

After that, you can either restart X (Control-Alt-Backspace is great for
it, also "telinit 3; telinit 5" as root), you just merge this new

xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources

NOTE: On my previous e-mail, I mentioned .Xdefaults, which was the
correct name for older versions of X11. Sometime along the way,
you was renamed to .Xresources. If you use .Xdefaults, it will not
be loaded automaticaly.

You can, of course, edit the XTerm resource file directly, or
/etc/X11/Xresources, but you can (will?) have problems on future

The great advantage of this method is not loosing it on a future

In any case, you will have to close your terminal windows and reopen
them for the change to take effect.

- -- 
Rodrigo Barbosa
"Quid quid Latine dictum sit, altum viditur"
"Be excellent to each other ..." - Bill & Ted (Wyld Stallyns)

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