I have started running in an Ubuntu 16 VM, running tigervnc 1.7.0, and run into an odd environment. Local windows behave as expected when I use alt-, for instance in a shell to back up a word via alt-b. But when I use xterm to ssh to another host, it treats the character differently -- for example generating "â" rather than backing up. Sounds like it's mapping the character differently, maybe via UTF. But I haven't run into this on other systems. I can't really tell if it's an issue with ssh, xterm, or the VNC server.

Googled and searched on ask ubuntu, but I'm coming up short. If it's a dup, sorry, please point me the right direction. I had high hopes for this one, but it seems different, as it's just ssh that's getting confused: Alt key works on Ubuntu 14.04 VM, ignored on 15.10 VM

1 Answer 1


I shared my question on facebook and got a pointer that at first I thought would be totally irrelevant, but actually pointed me toward the solution.

I added the following to my X environment and started a new xterm, which no longer suffered from the ALT problem.

XTerm*eightBitInput: false

The solution was via the following, where someone had manually added true to their own environment: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=163632

Looks like in my case, the new system has that as the system default, which I need to override. Though I imagine there is a more elegant solution.

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