VirtualBox and SCIM: problem with the “Host Key”

I’ve just started using VirtualBox. I quickly ran into a problem though. I quickly found that scim prevents VirtualBox from registering the “Host Key” (the right control key by default) which is used to prompt VirtualBox to stop grabbing the keyboard input. I’ve googled for solutions but all of them were either ineffective or unacceptable. Some people suggest to exit scim before starting VirtualBox!!

I’ve found a better solution: start VirtualBox with the environment variables which control input methods cleared out:

$ unset QT_IM_MODULE
$ virtualbox [...]

Executing the above prevents VirtualBox from communicating with scim or any other IM. How to convert this to a script is left as an exercise for the reader. It is probably not necessary to clear out all three variables but I’m not going to investigate which exactly VirtualBox uses.

3 thoughts on “VirtualBox and SCIM: problem with the “Host Key”

  1. David Syes

    Hi! Thanks for this information. I am glad to have found it. I will try to apply it to my situation, as I am experiencing that the host key is not responding desirably on my system.

    I am running PCLinuxOS 2007. I tried in vain to update another disk to Mandriva 2008.1, but it seems for the 3rd magazine in a row since March I’ve been bitten by the bad DVD burn problem. I was attempting to install to test my 3DConnexion Space Navigator. Giving upon that, i simply used kpackage/drakpackage to attempt to update the VB 1.5.2 to VB 1.5.6 and to VB 2.0 for Mandriva and the package installers refused to cope with older files in /usr/lib/virtualbox… So….

    Giving up on that DVD, I returned to my laptop the PCLOS disk. I uninstalled VB 1.5.2, installed VB 2.0 for PCLOS nicely without any fails or errors. Without rebooting, i successfully started VirtualBox. Serendipitously, in noticed and fiddled with the USB and related filters and, VOILA! My 3DConnexion Space Navigator and software worked. VB 2.0 is JUST what I was waiting for, as prior VB releases didn’t recognize my USB ports.

    My next step is to get the VB 2.0 additions (apparently not set up?) so that i can regain ~1400×900 desktop resolution.

    THANKS to SUN!

  2. Louis-Dominique Post author

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve just switched to VB but someone who has used VB for a while told me that VB 2.0 has some issues. So I’m waiting a bit before switching to 2.0. Anyway, I like VB a lot. Thanks to Sun indeed! 🙂

  3. Pingback: VirtualBox and Scim « EB’s TE Blog

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