The AltGr key does not work on a Linux virtual machine on a Windows Server 2008-based server that has the Hyper-V role enabled

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Article ID: 963709 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

Consider the following scenario:
  • The Hyper-V role is enabled on a Windows Server 2008-based system.
  • The default input language on the computer is set to German.
  • A Linux virtual machine is installed on this computer.
In this scenario, the AltGr key does not work on the Linux virtual machine. As a result, you cannot type the following characters:
  • ²
  • ³
  • {
  • [
  • ]
  • }
  • \
  • @
  • µ
  • ~
Note The AltGr key is the right ALT key on the German keyboard.

CAUSE

Windows systems use the left CTRL scan code together with the right ALT scan code to indicate the AltGr key on a German keyboard. However, the Linux virtual machine expects to receive the right ALT scan code only. When Windows sends the left CTRL scan code together with the right ALT scan code, the Linux virtual machine does not interpret these scan codes as the AltGr key.

RESOLUTION

Service Pack Information

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2008. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
968849 How to obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2008

Hotfix Information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

Important Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 hotfixes are included in the same packages. However, only one of these products may be listed on the “Hotfix Request” page. To request the hotfix package that applies to both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, just select the product that is listed on the page.

Prerequisites

You must have Windows Server 2008 with the Hyper-V role installed to apply this hotfix.

Restart Requirement

You have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix Replacement Information

This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

Windows Server 2008 file information note

The MANIFEST files (.manifest) and MUM files (.mum) installed for each environment are listed separately . MUM and MANIFEST files, and the associated security catalog (.cat) files, are critical to maintaining the state of the updated component. The security catalog files (attributes not listed) are signed with a Microsoft digital signature.

Windows Server 2008 X64
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Vmwp.exe6.0.6001.223663,524,60802-Feb-200906:35x64

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.
To resolve the issue, follow these steps:
  1. Install the hotfix 963709.
  2. Under the following registry key, add a registry entry named "KeyboardWorkaroundEnabled," set the type to REG_DWORD, and then set the value to 1:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Virtualization\Worker
Note After you install the hotfix and then create the new registry entry, the Windows Server 2008-based system removes the left CTRL scan code when it is followed by a right ALT scan code. However, this may affect intentional left CTRL + right ALT key combinations. To work around this issue, hold down the left CTRL key for a few seconds before you hold down the right ALT key.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section of this article.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
899474 The ALTGR and ALT+CTRL key combinations do not work in Virtual PC 2004 with Service Pack 1

Additional file information for Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 X64 other files
Collapse this tableExpand this table
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform
Amd64_microsoft-hyper-v-vstack-vmwp_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.22366_none_91adec95316ef36f.manifestNot Applicable192,58702-Feb-200907:07Not Applicable
Package_for_kb963709_sc_0~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.0.1.0.mumNot Applicable1,52802-Feb-200914:02Not Applicable
Package_for_kb963709_sc~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.0.1.0.mumNot Applicable1,43002-Feb-200914:02Not Applicable
Package_for_kb963709_server_0~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.0.1.0.mumNot Applicable1,53202-Feb-200914:02Not Applicable
Package_for_kb963709_server~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.0.1.0.mumNot Applicable1,43802-Feb-200914:02Not Applicable

For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates

Properties

Article ID: 963709 - Last Review: October 7, 2011 - Revision: 2.0
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard
Keywords: 
kbhyperv kbautohotfix kbexpertiseinter kbsurveynew kbbug kbfix kbqfe KB963709

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