Terminator terminal suddenly inserting each character twice when broadcasting to multiple windows

Written by - 18 comments

Published on June 3rd 2019 - Listed in Linux Internet Shell

Something very annoying hit me today when using Terminator: As soon as I switched to "Broadcast all" or "Broadcast group", the primary window would get the correct keyboard input, but all the others would get each character twice.

Let me show that in an example:

Terminator with double inserted character

As you can see, in the not-selected window below, each entered character is appearing twice.

This was working last week, I am sure. So what did change?

ibus is to blame

On my research I pretty quickly came across an Ubuntu bug on the terminator package, which is about that problem. The comments of that bug report led me to "ibus". According to Ubuntu's ibus help page, ibus is:

an input method framework for multilingual input in Unix-like operating systems

Interesting... I don't use a multilingual input. But now that I've read this, I suddenly remembered that this weekend I noticed a sudden change of keyboard input which was set to US-English instead of my default of Swiss German. And I would certainly not change that as I'm using a Swiss German keyboard layout.

So how and why did ibus come on my system? Or has it always been running?

No, zoom is actually to blame!

The apt history reveals more:

WM2856l ~ # zgrep ibus /var/log/apt/history.log.1.gz -A 2 -B 2

Start-Date: 2019-05-29  10:09:58
Install: libxcb-xtest0:amd64 (1.10-2ubuntu1, automatic), ibus:amd64 (1.5.5-1ubuntu3.2, automatic), dconf-cli:amd64 (0.20.0-1, automatic)
End-Date: 2019-05-29  10:10:02

ibus was obviously installed a couple of days ago, just after 10am. But why? This is the same time I was invited into a Zoom meeting and installed the package for Linux Mint:

Zoom deb package downloaded

admck@WM2856l ~ $ ls -la /home/admck/Downloads/zoom_amd64.deb
-rw-r--r-- 1 admck admck 66321120 May 29 10:09 /home/admck/Downloads/zoom_amd64.deb

Ha! Gotcha!

So the installation of the zoom deb package caused an installation of a dependency; ibus in this case. Besides ibus the zoom package also changed my default keyboard layout, as written above. Not nice!

Killing ibus and it works

But is it actually ibus causing the problem, as meanwhile suspected, or is it something else? Let's try this and kill the ibus daemon process:

admck@WM2856l ~ $ ps auxf|grep -i ibus
admck    11524  0.0  0.0  12016  2388 pts/22   S+   15:29   0:00          |       |       \_ grep --colour=auto -i ibus
admck     2460  0.1  0.0 361940 11456 ?        Ssl  09:32   0:25 /usr/bin/ibus-daemon --daemonize --xim
admck     2479  0.0  0.0 276960  6500 ?        Sl   09:32   0:00  \_ /usr/lib/ibus/ibus-dconf
admck     2480  0.0  0.1 519520 24524 ?        Sl   09:32   0:08  \_ /usr/lib/ibus/ibus-ui-gtk3
admck     2539  0.0  0.0 201228  6360 ?        Sl   09:32   0:07  \_ /usr/lib/ibus/ibus-engine-simple
admck     2490  0.0  0.0 285896 13296 ?        Sl   09:32   0:11 /usr/lib/ibus/ibus-x11 --kill-daemon

WM2856l ~ # kill 2460

WM2856l ~ # ps auxf|grep -i ibus
root     11689  0.0  0.0  12016  2420 pts/22   S+   15:31   0:00          |       |                   \_ grep --colour=auto -i ibus

OK, the ibus processes are gone. What about terminator?

Terminator working correctly again

Finally the input is showing up correctly, in both windows.

If something gets me mad...

... its a package installation which brings some "hidden inconveniences" with it. Of course I immediately uninstalled the zoom and the packages which were installed as a dependency to zoom.

WM2856l ~ # apt remove zoom ibus libxcb-xtest0 dconf-cli

If someone from Zoom reads this, please clean this up. Thanks. This happened on Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon 64bit by the way.

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Comments (newest first)

Matt from United States wrote on Aug 24th, 2020:

You can configure in the Region/Language area of Settings to use XIM instead of ibus for input. Log out and back in, Terminator works correctly again.

Leo from wrote on Aug 19th, 2020:

Works for me!! Thank you very much!!

Terminator 1.91 | Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa

Kamran Ansari from India wrote on Jun 8th, 2020:

For Ubuntu 18.+
This worked for me.

sudo mv /usr/bin/terminator /usr/bin/terminator.SAVE
cat < /tmp/terminator
sh -c "DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS='' /usr/share/terminator/terminator"
chmod 755 /tmp/terminator
sudo mv /tmp/terminator /usr/bin

Hector Reyes from Mexico wrote on May 28th, 2020:

Thanks, it work great!
I blame covid-19

Guillermo G from Argentina wrote on May 27th, 2020:

It works, thanks man !!!!

Drey from wrote on May 23rd, 2020:

Thanks, works!

y_159 from wrote on May 22nd, 2020:

Thanks, It worked for me.

Per Hertz from Denmark wrote on May 5th, 2020:

Thanks, Claudio!
Having just upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, I thought that might be the reason, and, hence the upgrades had been done a bit prematurely. Glad something else was to blame - and you are dead right: Side effects from installs, not described properly, are a nuiseance! Lesson learned: Follow the WHO recommendation and test, test, test...

Aryo from wrote on Apr 27th, 2020:

Thanks a lot, man!
Ibus definitely the culprit.

claus from wrote on Apr 17th, 2020:

Thank you very much!!! I can't believe they haven't fixed this even a year later. I uninstalled zoom and everything went back to normal. Thank you!

Tobias from Bremen wrote on Apr 3rd, 2020:

I had exactly the same problem and it took support of "matrica GmbH" (moneyplex 20) and me quite a while to find the culprit. The support quickly suspected ibus, but I didn't even know what this was. He asked me what I had changed in the last days and I said: nothing. He said that people always say: nothing, and then later on they come round to saying: wait, I actually did change something. In my case I remembered that I had installed the zoom client because we are keeping in touch with our family with this system. If you read this, zoom, please change your client!

Camillot from france wrote on Apr 1st, 2020:

Ibus was the problem for me too ! thanks !!

Alx from Poland wrote on Feb 26th, 2020:

Killing ibus did the job for me. Great troubleshooting!

Mike Mitchell from USA wrote on Feb 11th, 2020:

Still an issue with Linux Mint 19.3 (Tricia). Installed Zoom for a work meeting about a week and a half ago. This would have driven me up the wall until I broke down and did a fresh install. Thanks for sharing!

Yuriy Kryshchuk from Ukraine wrote on Jan 14th, 2020:

The same issue exists on Fedora 31. I do not have Zoom installed. However, the ibus seems to be the issue here too. Once I killed the daemon the broadcast got fixed.

Choroba from wrote on Nov 19th, 2019:

I use several keyboard layouts and switch between them via the "Keyboard Layout Handler". Ibus installed via Zoom totally broke my setup and caused the handler to randomly freeze. Unfortunately, it sometimes freezes before I can kill ibus, and it doesn't come around later :-(

Johny from Canada wrote on Sep 18th, 2019:

In my case Microsoft Teams Insiders was the culprit. Thanks for this tip.

Mike from wrote on Jul 3rd, 2019:

Excellent. Saved me a hair tearing.