I have a strange problem with my keyboard. I just wanted to set a keyboard shortcut on my xfce desktop (Settings Manager > Window Manager > Keyboard) but when I press

ctrl + alt + shift + up

(which is the shortcut I want) it prints


This is what happens exactly, when I put in the shortcut (new key --> new line):

key                     | shortcut shown by settings manager
Ctrl                    | Control_L
Ctrl + Alt              | <Primary>Alt_L
Ctrl + Alt + Shift      | <Primary><Alt>Shift_L
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Up | <Primary><Shift><Alt>Up

and if I press Shift before Alt:

key                     | shortcut shown by settings manager
Ctrl                    | Control_L
Ctrl + Shift            | <Primary>Shift_L
Ctrl + Shift + Alt      | <Primary><Shift>Meta_L
Ctrl + Shift + Alt + Up | <Primary><Shift><Alt>Up

Any idea what's wrong? My keyboard layout is set to de-latin1-nodeadkeys which should be correct.

UPDATE April 2014: I still have this issue. Now with mate. I don't think it's a problem with the window manager. I think it's a problem with the driver or the hardware. Not that the hardware is faulty, I assume this is a wanted feature with this keyboard but I don't want it. My notebook is an HP 8440p.

  • One more hint: At home I have a docking station for my notebook with a PS2-Keyboard. With this keyboard I am able to use the Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Up shortcut (when configured correctly without Primary), although when I try to set the shortcut does the same as described above. Oct 27, 2011 at 22:57

2 Answers 2


Looks like this is a known issue in Xfce4:

Bug 8056 - Control modifier appears as Primary when setting shortcuts

  • I don't use xfce no more. Now I still have this issue with Mate. I think it's a hardware or driver issue with my HP 8440p. I'll never buy a HP laptop again. Too many weird things like this. Apr 22, 2014 at 20:31
  • My HP laptoṕ works fine with Linux. Many HP machines do.
    – vonbrand
    Oct 9, 2015 at 21:54

The problem is gone after upgrading the BIOS to Version RevA.

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