Howto Disable CTRL-ALT-DEL in Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) Server

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Any user that has physical access to the keyboard can simply use the Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination to reboot the server without having to log on. Sure, someone could simply unplug the power source, but you should still prevent the use of this key combination on a production server. This forces an attacker to take more drastic measures to reboot the server, and will prevent accidental reboots at the same time.

If you want to disable CTFL-ALT-DEL from shutting down your server use the following procedure.

To disable the reboot action taken by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination, comment out the following line in the file /etc/event.d/control-alt-delete.

sudo vi /etc/event.d/control-alt-delete

Change the following line

exec /sbin/shutdown -r now "Control-Alt-Delete pressed"


#exec /sbin/shutdown -r now "Control-Alt-Delete pressed"

Save and exit the file

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8 Responses

  1. Lari Natri says:

    What about Alt-SysRq-B?

  2. Jason says:


  3. janitux says:

    to prevent the use of sysrq add this to your /etc/sysctl.conf:
    kernel.sysrq = 0
    if you don’t want to reboot you can just do a sysctl -p as root to get the changes effective

  4. Chris Lees says:

    wtf? Does control-alt-delete reboot a computer? I thought it only killed the X server.

  5. Jngoi says:

    I think Ctrl + alt + backspace kills the x server.

  6. jithin says:

    y would anyone with physical access to the computer use ctrl alt del,it is much easier to use the mouse,rite?anyway of blocking that?

  7. Ari says:

    doesn’t work for me 🙁

    I have Hardy installed and followed your steps excactly…. tested directly and also after reboot: Control-Alt-Delete still works 🙁

    any other way to get rid of that? and also Control-Alt-Backspace??


  8. csaba says:

    Use the System/ Preferences/ Keyboard Shortcuts/
    menupoint from the menu for redefine those Shortcuts

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