This happens now and then and after a restart it works. No clue as to what causes this. When this happened earlier I would search for Terminal in Dash and launch. But today, even that does not work.

I have tried the solutions posted in the following posts without any luck.

I am going to restart lightdm first to see if that helps and if not I will restart my laptop.

I look forward to your suggestions on what else I could try for this is sure to recur.

  • 1
    Restarting lightdm worked.
    – eshwar
    Jul 17, 2014 at 10:23
  • 1
    You should add your comment as answer! Jul 17, 2014 at 13:54
  • I dont believe restarting lightdm is the right solution.
    – eshwar
    Jul 18, 2014 at 10:11
  • experienced the same problem in 14.04 over a long period. Seems to have disappeared jan 2015 after updating. Jan 27, 2015 at 13:25

7 Answers 7


I have also faced that type of problem earlier and initially used to restart.

But now any type of such problem, then by using following command:

kill -9 -1

This will kill processes and return to login screen, then after login all works well & successfully.

  • 1
    I hate having to do this every time I log in. Is there a way to make it more permanent?
    – Jake
    Aug 27, 2015 at 9:57
  • Did we have any information on the why? My 3 year old son starting mashing on my keyboard and made it so all function keys, ctrl+alt+t, super+l and many other shortcuts were no longer working. Finally when I realized the terminal wouldn't open either I searched for that alone and found this. Rebooting did nothing to help but this command did. This tells me maybe something was running in the background to prevent this stuff from working, but what?
    – Xandor
    Jan 31, 2021 at 18:32

It's a confirmed bug. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-terminal/+bug/1292113

I've had the same thing happening. Sometimes, after a minute or two of doing something else, a screen full of terminals I attempted to open with a series of frustrated ctrl+alt+ts blows up in my workspace.

If you go to launchpad, and confirm that it also affects you, it raises the priority of the bug, meaning it would be more likely to be fixed sooner.

  • The resolution of this bug is: fix released. I have had the same problem on 14.10 just now...
    – Vogel612
    Mar 12, 2015 at 9:56

I had the same issue and tried to Reset All(keyboard shortcuts) and it worked charm.


Go to Settings->Devices->Keyboard Shortcuts-> Reset All

it worked like charm

  • 1
    I didnt add "thank you", that was a real answer, you bot! Jan 11, 2018 at 9:39
  • Could you please expand on this answer by editing it and include how you did the reset all? (From the terminal, from a C function library, from a menu, ...) as it is now, your answer isn't very clear.
    – Fabby
    Jan 11, 2018 at 10:30

If (like me) you use gnome-session-fallback, executing:

pkill gnome-panel

should resolve this.


I had this problem - Alt+Ctrl+T stopped working - and what solved it to me was this answer:


after doing kill -9 -1 as suggested in Pandya's answer, I noticed an error about monitor configuration.

And so I reached the above answer that instructs to delete /home/__username__/.config/monitors.xml

Before this I couldn't switch language as well.


Instead of using Ctrl + Alt + T as the shortcut, you can redefine Alt + T as the shortcut in the Settings > Keyboard > Launchers settings to replace the old Launch setting for Launch terminal (this is not to set up a new customized short key). It seems a bug and may also because there is a conflict. This works for me at least.


Go Settings->Keyboard->Custom Shortcuts

enter image description here

  • 1
    This was suggested in the posts I cited in my question and tried by me already.
    – eshwar
    Jul 18, 2014 at 10:10

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