I have a problem with my Ubuntu, running 14.04 LTS.

The problem is that I'm trying to user Alt+F4 and Alt+Tab and it doesn't work, it only works with the Right Alt.

I also tried to set a new keyboard short-cut for Alt+F4 and Alt+Tab but as soon as I press Alt the short-cut is set.

The thing I noticed once I set the shortcut is that the key didn't correspond with Alt, it was a Level3 Shift.

I search all over the internet of a method to change that Level3 Shift to the normal Alt but only found solution to do the opposite.

Any suggestions?

3 Answers 3


Try xev and xmodmap:

  1. Run the command xev then hover your mouse over the black square.
  2. Press the Alt key, and make a note of the following: My output was this (shortened): KeyPress event... keycode 64 (keysym 0xffe9, Alt_L), ... XFilterEvent returns: False

  3. The important part is the keycode: Mine was 64, but yours is probably different.

  4. Run the command xmodmap -e "keycode 64 = Alt_L" substituting 64 for whatever output you get (possibly 135 on your keyboard)

  5. This should have changed it. If it has, you then need to run the following command: xmodmap -pke >~/.Xmodmap

  6. Create a file called .xinitrc in your home folder (/home/username)

  7. In that file paste the line xmodmap .Xmodmap. This should save it forever.

See this answer for details about remapping.

My pronouns are He / Him


Both of these solutions were a bit too hacky for my taste, so I dug a little deeper. The solution I found only uses dconf-editor.

Just open dconf-editor and search (ctrl+F) for xkb-options and update the value. In my case, the value associated with the xkb-options key was


The option 'lv3:alt_switch' was the one that was causing my headache. I simply changed the value to:


That's it!


Check current layout defaults

  1. Check used layout/variant names, example my case:

    $ setxkbmap -query
    rules:      evdev
    model:      pc105
    layout:     us,us
    variant:    altgr-intl
  2. Open the file in /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/ with same name of layout.

    sudo nano /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/us
  3. Scroll down to the exact variant

    xkb_symbols "altgr-intl" {
     name[Group1]= "English (international AltGr dead keys)";
    include "level3(ralt_switch)"
  4. See if you have include "level3(ralt_switch)" (or maybe include "level3(lalt_switch)", not sure if that's possible), if so remove its line.

  5. Run to update layout

    sudo dpkg-reconfigure xkb-data
  • I have eek@Eek-PC:~$ setxkbmap -query rules: evdev model: pc105 layout: us options: lv3:lalt_switch and when i modified altgr-intl and removed the include line didn't changed, also, I didn't had any xkb_symbols lv3:lalt_switch. But the other answer helped. Thanks!
    – Eek
    May 26, 2014 at 12:33
  • @Eek, Never mind, Your current layout is us basic not altgr-intl. However, You have options: lv3:lalt_switch, I don't known any thing may come up with this as default, Did you made any customized settings?
    – user.dz
    May 26, 2014 at 14:03
  • Nope. Default Ubuntu install :-s I have an Asus G74SX maybe from that's where the problem comes :-s
    – Eek
    May 27, 2014 at 6:21

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