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Old 10-02-2017, 06:24 PM
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jdev jdev is offline
VanDyke Technical Support
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Arrow KB: Keyboard problems when accessing SecureCRT via VNC/RDP on Linux?

A very small number of individuals have recently reported that when they attempt to access SecureCRT (running on Linux) through an RDP/VNC connection, the keyboard mapping is incorrect. Meanwhile, when accessing SecureCRT directly on the Linux machine (not through a remote RDP/VNC connection) the keyboard works just fine.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, here's some background info and steps you can consider taking to resolve the problem.

Here's a description of what has been reported:
  • Running SecureCRT natively on the Linux machine (Ubuntu 16.10, for example), there are no problems with the keyboard working as desired.
  • When connecting with an RDP/VNC client to the Linux/Ubuntu machine and accessing the SecureCRT app remotely, keyboard activity delivers unexpected results. As examples:
    • Typing "asdf" comes out as "abfh" (or something else completely foreign)
    • Typing "qwerty" comes out as "c.gvn".
    • Typing "cisco" might come out as "dlbdz", Command+Tab might come out as the number "5", and the Delete button might not work.
  • When launching SecureCRT from the command line, the following error is displayed: "Qt: XKEYBOARD extension not present on the X server."

This problem is caused by RDP/VNC client/server implementations that are not implemented/configured to support the XKEYBOARD extension.
Possible Fixes:
While SecureCRT cannot force an RDP/VNC client/server implementation to support the XKEYBOARD extension that Qt requires, there are some steps you can take to potentially resolve the problem:
  • Update your RDP/VNC server implementation to one that supports/enables the XKEYBOARD extension.
    • One individual switched from using tightvncserver to vnc4server, and the problem went away for them.
    • In another case, an individual installed vnc4server, but the problem remained until tightvncserver was removed.
    • One online resource suggests that TurboVNC is an implementation that supports the XKEYBOARD extension.
  • Try using VNC as the remote access protocol instead of RDP.
  • Try running the following command prior to launching SecureCRT from the command line: export XKB_DEFAULT_RULES=base
Jake Devenport
VanDyke Software
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knowledgebase , rdp , securecrt , vnc

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