I had this problem some time ago and finally did some I-forget-what kind
of magic to deal with it. This time it is really weird, because the
problem does not affect all users. What was the "cause" of the problem is
that I ran out of disk space, upgraded to a much larger hard drive, and
while I was at it I upgraded the operating system from Slackware-12.0 to
Slackware-current, which appears to me to be in the last stages before
the next release. I did the upgrade in part because there were a rather
huge number of security patches to apply, in any event.
Here is the problem:
1. Start up X (fvwm2, no fancy desktop) as a user.
2. Open an xterm and start MC. No problems. Everything nice.
3. In an xterm, do "su" and give the password to do a root session in that
Then, in the root window only, the Alt key followed by a keystroke (Alt-s
for search the directory, for example) will print a funny character at the
command line and otherwise will not do what it is supposed to do. As I
said, this does not happen if one is a user. Moreover, the Cntrl key has
taken over the abilities of the Alt key in addition to its own. For
example, Cntrl-s will permit the downward search of the directory, and
Cntrl-Enter will bring something down to the command line now, instead of
Alt-Enter, which does not work. Again, all of these things continue to
work as they should if one is a user, in the same X session.
The contents of the .mc directory are identical for both user and root. I
am sure this would be the first question so I answered it here.
Also (anticipating second question), does this happen in the regular
terminal and not in X? No.
As I said, this problem happened to me once before. But last time it was
for both user and root. Here, it is root only and not user, who has the
problem. Thus, it would seem to be a permissions problem, but where, and
how to cure it? If it is a permissions problem, of course, the problem
could be somewhere in the X setup. In that case it would not be a ball
lying in the MC court, obviously. But has anyone else encountered this
kind of thing? Are there any reasonable measures which MC setup could use,
in order to avoid this happening?
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