How to fix broken Alt key?

@orschiro - There are a few new changes to both the HUD and MATE Tweak. If you update your Artful instance and restart, does anything change for you?

If it doesn’t, can you run these commands:

killall mate-hud
/usr/lib/mate-hud/mate-hud &

After that, do things start working for you? In my case, mate-hud only works properly after restarting it.

Hmmmm, I wonder if mate-hud need to be started in the ApplicationPhase. :thinking:

Thanks so much for the progress on this!

Right now testing and seems to be working so far. :slight_smile:

Will get back to you if breaking again!

After some more testing, unfortunately I have to say it’s still the same problem. :frowning:

Even after killing and restarting it?
OK, I’ll have to think of another strategy. Will report back as soon as I have something

Sorry, overlooked your comment above.

Now testing:

[email protected]:~$ killall mate-hud
[email protected]:~$ /usr/lib/mate-hud/mate-hud &
[1] 14791
[email protected]:~$ INFO:root:Press Alt_L to handle keybinding and quit

Still breaking with this error message:

[email protected]:~$ killall mate-hud
[email protected]:~$ /usr/lib/mate-hud/mate-hud &
[1] 14791
[email protected]:~$ INFO:root:Press Alt_L to handle keybinding and quit
Exception in thread Thread-1:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/Xlib/protocol/", line 1413, in __getattr__
    return self._data[attr]
KeyError: 'time'

During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python3.6/", line 916, in _bootstrap_inner
  File "/usr/lib/mate-hud/mate-hud", line 509, in run
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/Xlib/protocol/", line 1417, in __getattr__
    raise AttributeError(attr)
AttributeError: time

Yay! This is incredibly helpful! I’ve been trying to get an error output for a while. I think I know what’s happening. I’ll work on a fix as soon as I get back within reach of a computer :smile:

Hey is it just me or is Python 3.6 breaking stuff all over the place?
The boutique no longer works in artful because of a Python Error too…

@ouroumov - in the case of mate-hud, it just happens to run on python3.6… the error actually comes from python-xlib, where it raises an error due to a missing time attribute in the XEvent (which can typically only happen if another app created a synthetic event and forgot to put a time to it).

To your point, though, python3 is less forgiving than python2. So I assume that we’ll see a few more of these errors (like the one in software boutique) as we migrate more and more of the system to python3.

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@orschiro, I submitted a fix for this (and some other improvements to the key bindings) and from what I can see @Wimpy tagged them for Artful, so they should be there now (or at least very soon, I’m not familiar with the repo update process).

Whenever you get the chance, if you can test this and let me know if it works for you, that’d be very helpful. Hopefully we can fix this thing once and for all! :slight_smile:


@vkareh thanks for your improvements on this! I can confirm that Alt+Tab is now working reliably again. :slight_smile:

However, other apps are still affected. Example, Firefox:

Normally, you can use Alt+1 or Alt+2 to switch to the corresponding tab.

I still need to press Alt+1+1 (pressing 1 twice) to trigger the action.

I think this should be working by just pressing 1 once.

Can you confirm this problem?

@orschiro, I can confirm this is happening. Took me a while to find other apps that have Alt key bindings. Found a few with mostly Alt+Return for properties (Atril, EoM, etc).

Seems like mate-hud is, again, to blame here… I’ll take a look :stuck_out_tongue:


Pressing Alt is also how you reveal Firefox’s menubar. Since many/most HUD users will have the global menu, and since the HUD itself gives access to the menu, this may be fine. Just something else to consider.

@elcste thanks for mentioning that! Something that I disable immediately first time I launch Firefox. It just always annoys me. Personal preference, I guess…

@orschiro - I changed how the mate-hud keybindings were happening and it seems like it fixed the issue with Firefox et al. The change is now available in the Artful daily build


@vkareh Thanks! How do I use the Artful daily build? Am I already using it if I installed the 17.10 Alpha?

I think the package should show up in your Artful install as soon as you update. The daily build just gets re-released into a fresh .iso every day for dev/test purposes, but Alpha, Beta, etc should all have the updates. I’m not entirely sure how the releases work :confused:

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You seem to have fixed it. Thank you so much! :slight_smile:

Sorry, shared my excitement too early. One last thing to fix which I tried to explain in this video: