For many months(!) now, once a while my CTRL/ALT keys just stop functioning. Running xmodmap returns a list of empty modifiers (no Ctrl/Alt attached to them).
Recently I've got the feeling that VMware server console is the one to blame, and a long search on the web revealed this ubuntu bug, In which Pete describes exactly how to reproduce:
- In VMware console, put the mouse inside the guest machine
- Hold the Ctrl key down
- Take the mouse out of the guest machine
- Leave the Ctrl key
- Run xmodmap and viola, it's empty!
(To get the modifiers back run something like xmodmap /usr/share/xmodmap/xmodmap.us-101)
The bug is reported to Ubuntu, but it's something bigger - I'm experiencing it in Debian (can you reproduce it on another distro?).
I wonder who should I report it to: it might be a bug in Xorg, Linux Kernel (usb keyboard driver), or even just a VMware bug (less likely though).
Update: actually I think that this is the relevant bug, and not the one I originally linked to.
I'm suffering from it for a while in Arch Linux as well - using VMware Workstation though.
Under debian xmodmap did not solve my problem. But using did solve the problem setxkbmap. My xmodmap was also empty