Yet another wonderful Gnome error message

Error activating XKB configuration.
Probably internal X server problem.
X server version data:
The XFree86 Project, Inc
You are using XFree 4.3.0.
There are known problems with complex XKB configurations.
Try using simpler configuration or a newer version of the XFree software.
If you report this situation as a bug, please include:
- The result of xprop -root | grep XKB
- The result of gconftool-2 -R /desktop/gnome/peripherals/keyboard/xkb

So I’ve got a keyboard problem! No, I haven’t. Everything is great, every key sends exactly what it should.
Anyway, it’s an error message from the X server. Nope. It is apparently from an obscure program called gnome-settings-daemon which is started automatically by gnome-session. Only it doesn’t say so anywhere. Needless to say, there is no manual for the gnome-settings-daemon or even a –help option to help me gain some insight.
So I have a working keyboard, an annoying dialog with a misleading message at each login and a top panel that is misplaced due to this dialog taking up the top-left corner of the screen well before the window manager is even started. On top of that the login takes at least 30 seconds longer due to some problem starting this gnome-settings-daemon, which I’m inclined to believe is tried several times, since I get this message on the console at each login:

You can only run one xsettings manager at a time; exiting

I still haven’t found a way to get this dialog to disappear.
UPDATE: Well, I’m not the only one with this problem, as can be seen at, especially
but there is no solution there either.
UPDATE 2004-07-17: The problem just went away today, and I’m not quite clear why. I did have a .Xmodmap file which I initially ran from my .xinitrc, that is before gnome-settings-daemon was started, and I moved that to a session startup program, so it’ll run after gnome-settings-deamon is started, but I’m not 100% sure that was the culprit. Might have been, though.


5 responses to “Yet another wonderful Gnome error message”

  1. ChanPerv avatar

    Check your X config file… make sure it says “xorg” and not “xf86” =P

  2. i had the same problem, and it seemed that xkb was unable to compile the proper keymap to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/compiled, likely because its run as your user and this directory is not writable to anyone (obviously).

  3. To solve the problem, go to Aplications -> Preferences -> keyboard and select a keyboard model in layout (for example “Generic 104-key PC” keyboard).

  4. TeraHz avatar

    check /etc/X11/xkb it is a link that point to non existing location. it should point to /usr/lib/xkb I guess

  5. Bruno Sabin avatar
    Bruno Sabin

    su as root and:
    # vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf

    look for or add the following line in the Section “InputDevice”
    Option “XkbRules” “xorg”

    then restart your X server (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace)

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