A Windows 8.1 reinstall, made necessary by a combination of electrical, hardware and software issues, overwrote my boot loader.
All of my bootable USB sticks were old or odd. I could also not manage to get any USB liveUSB sticks made under Windows. fml, amirite?
I used to have a relatively updated Lubuntu. It was a rolling upgrade from some earlier version. I completely screwed up backup restoration and decided to overwrite the install with Lubuntu 14.04. I then noticed some odd issues.
The issue ∞
The keyboard partially locks up, allowing typing but preventing things like alt-tab.
Using keepassx's login/password auto-type feature.
Changing volume on a multimedia keyboard.
The solution ∞
\sudo \apt-get remove ibus
Some back-story ∞
I had noticed this new tray icon some time ago, and I had just scripted
./config/openbox/autostart.sh and subsequently forgot about it. When I later took a break from this troubleshooting and reflected that if it's not the kernel it might be some software to do with the keyboard, this popped back into my head. Wasn't it internationalization-related?
Troubleshooting steps ∞
Investigate the hardware ∞
I did, at first, consider actual hardware issues.
My mouse and keyboard are connected to a USB hub. Has it gone bad?
- Replaced the USB hub.
My USB hub is connected via an active cable. Is that port bad?
- Tried other USB ports.
My USB active cable has gone bad?
- No changes were done. I didn't have a spare.
Has my keyboard gone bad?
- Replaced the keyboard.
Has my mouse gone bad?
- Replaced the mouse.
Is the entire concept of chaining a USB hub bad?
Replaced the keyboard with a multimedia keyboard which has a built-in probably-USB-1.0 hub. Plug the mouse directly into it. This is when I noticed the volume control knob reproducing this issue.
Investigate the kernel ∞
Having not seen this issue with an earlier version, I thought maybe the kernel was to blame. It seemed reasonable. This was an unusual issue that seemed very close-to-the-metal.
Thanks to this lead:
I took a look at the earlier kernels:
However, I had no motherfucking clue what all the stupid nicknames mean.
I began with 3.13.0-24
- This overwrote 3.8.0-030800, disallowing both from being available at one time.
None of these changes made a difference.
Anything under 3.8.0 led to a low-resolution login screen and a locked keyboard.
At this point I was wondering if I should copy the kernel from a known good installation of an earlier version of Lubuntu, like off of a liveCD.