[CentOS] Windows key works some times I boot, doesn't work others

Sun May 11 04:58:34 UTC 2008
Nick Fenwick <neek at tcp.co.uk>

MHR wrote:
> On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 11:13 PM, Nick Fenwick <neek at tcp.co.uk> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> How can I investigate why my Windows key is not triggering the expected
>> keybinding commands?
> This may seem dumb, but are you sure it's not your keyboard?  I use a
> Logitech EX110 wireless keyboard and mouse, and every once in a while
> the number keypad goes silent, and then it comes back for no
> particular reason.  Could your Mod key be misbehaving?
Thanks for the pointers.  This is a new keyboard, installed because I 
spilled some oil on the last one (it's amazing how frustrating 
programming without a working 9 key is).  The mod key never starts/stops 
working during a session .. it's always rebooting that changes it 
to/from working state.

> Also, there are three key bindings files in gnome (none of which I
> recall by name at the moment) but you need to make sure they all are
> set correctly (there's one for each section of the keystroke
> preferences window - desktop, multimedia and windows).  I had some
> problems similar to this when the right settings wound up in the wrong
> file, but nothing as sporadic as what you're describing.
I've had a look at what gnome-keybinding-properties gives me, and see it 
controls stuff like the workspace switching keys.  My alt-1, alt-2 etc. 
bindings always work, regardless of the dodgy mod key.  It's only the 
mod key, among all the keybindings that I use in heavy programming 
sessions i.e. using lots of keybindings in lots of apps, that is 
intermittent as I described.

Having said that, the only utility to which I put my windows key is the 
metacity keybindings as I described.  I'm in a session now where my mod4 
key is not working.  I just tried setting the 'switch to workspace 1' 
gnome-keybinding-properties key to mod4-1 instead of alt-1.  This app 
has the benefit over the gconf-editor in that it reads keypresses that 
you type and enters the keycodes for you.  As soon as I press the 
windows key, it enters "Super_L" and refuses to accept the '1'.  Trying 
to assign mod4-2 to workspace 2 results in it accepting Super_L and 
complaining that that is already assigned.  I haven't come across 
Super_L before.

Some googling led me to 
http://www.fedoraforum.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-46657.html , which 
indicates I should change my "Alt/Win key behaviour" from "Default" 
(whatever that is) to something else.  Trying "Meta is mapped to the 
Win-keys" causes g-k-p to come up with <Mod4><Hyper>x, and suddenly the 
old <Mod4>x binding in gconf's metacity section is working, running 
xterm as requested.

So I guess my problem was the System->Preferences->Keyboard=>Layout 
Options->Alt/Win key behaviour setting being Default.  I'll play around 
more on other reboots and see if the Super_L behaviour changes for any 

Cheers :)