Pressing SysReq key (alone or with other keys) takes me back to X session


When I switch to a tty, if I press SysRq and release, I’m taken back to my X session.

When I try any “Magic SysRq” commands other than Alt + SysRq + space or Alt + SysRq + p, no “magic” happens and I’m just taken back to my X session.

Both Alt + SysRq + space and Alt + SysRq + p print a help/usage message.


I’m running Ubuntu 18.04, kernel version 4.15.0-58-generic (package version 4.15.0-58.64) on x86_64. My laptop is a Thinkpad 13 (2016 model), and the SysRq key is Fn+S.

I’ve set the kernel sysrq mask to 1 (it was originally the default 176), but that didn’t change the behaviour at all:

$   sysctl kernel.sysrq kernel.sysrq = 176  $   sudo sysctl kernel.sysrq=1 kernel.sysrq = 1  $   sysctl kernel.sysrq kernel.sysrq = 1 

Magic SysRq is enabled in the kernel:


What I’ve tried:

If I press and hold Alt + Fn+S and then press Space (while still holding down Alt + Fn+S), I get the SysRq help/usage message:

[  294.516753] sysrq: SysRq : HELP : loglevel(0-9) reboot(b) crash(c) terminate-all-tasks(e) memory-full-oom-kill(f) kill-all-tasks(i) thaw-filesystems(j) sak(k) show-backtrace-all-active-cpus(l) show-memory-usage(m) nice-all-RT-tasks(n) poweroff(o) show-registers(p) show-all-timers(q) unraw(r) sync(s) show-task-states(t) unmount(u) force-fb(V) show-blocked-tasks(w) dump-ftrace-buffer(z)  

which suggests that Fn+S is indeed acting as SysRq.

If I try any other “Magic SysRq” key combinations, it’s equivalent to if I just press Fn+S by itself – I’m immediately taken back to my X session.

I’ve tried the following keys (as they seem largely harmless):

  • d Shows all locks that are held.
  • l Shows a stack backtrace for all active CPUs.
  • m Will dump current memory info to your console.
  • p Will dump the current registers and flags to your console.
  • t Will dump a list of current tasks and their information to your console.
  • w Dumps tasks that are in uninterruptible (blocked) state.
  • r Turns off keyboard raw mode and sets it to XLATE.

Of those, Alt + SysRrq + p also printed the same help information as Alt + SysRq + Space; the others just took me back to my X session.

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