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Old 04-01-2013, 08:59 AM   #1
CollieJim
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HP fn key access needed


Based on the advice from LinuxNow (http://www.linuxnow.com.au) I purchased an HP dv6-7030TX laptop with Fedora 18 and Windows 7 installed.

Most of it works with Fedora. The 2 bits that did not work out of the box were the internal SD card (Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device 5229 (rev 01)) and the WiFi (Broadcom Corporation BCM4313).

The same results are obtained with Kubuntu 12.04.2.

I found a driver for the SD card which I'm told will probably be included in a future kernel.

The WiFi on the other hand is controlled by a switch which requires the 'fn' key to operate. I know it works because Windows can use it.

Fortunately neither is a significant problem but it would be nice if I could get access to the 'fn' functions, which include screen brightness and sound volume.

I checked the kernel configuration but did not find anything that looked like HP extras. I've looked for keyboard drivers without luck. Is there something else I should try?


TIA
Jim
 
Old 04-01-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
linuxonbute
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On my HPG56 Laptop there is a key on the left of the bottom row marked

fn

and you have to hold that down while you press the function key on the top row.
hope it works for you.
 
Old 04-02-2013, 03:26 AM   #3
CollieJim
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That works in Windows, but not Kubuntu.
 
Old 04-02-2013, 07:28 AM   #4
elvinhaak
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Hi,
Actually, this problem exists with not only HP-laptops, but with all laptops I have had under my hands.
Not only WIFI, but also screen intern+external (and such combinations), sound-settings, backlight and so forth are under (native for the machine with correct corresponding software) MS-Windows supported by these kind of special keys.
Would be nice if there was a standard solution for this, also for Sony, IBM and MSI for example.
(And not only in Kubuntu)
 
Old 04-02-2013, 07:29 AM   #5
linuxonbute
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Not sure what else to suggest unless it is something to do with the language chosen but that's not very likely. Everything works fine on mine.
I bought it new, booted Win7 and made rescue discs. Then I booted from my Ubuntu 11.04 disc and deleted Win7 then installed ubuntu. Since then I have updated to 11.10 and now 12.04 and had no problems with anything. Have to tried on the Ubuntu forums?
 
Old 04-02-2013, 03:49 PM   #6
The Lightning Stalker
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Unfortunately, you have to set all the key bindings manually. For instance I have a calculator key that is set up to run KCalc through Compiz.
 
Old 04-02-2013, 03:55 PM   #7
mdbuerkle
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Quote:
I purchased an HP dv6-7030TX laptop with Fedora 18 and Windows 7 installed.

Most of it works with Fedora. The 2 bits that did not work out of the box were the internal SD card (Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. Device 5229 (rev 01)) and the WiFi (Broadcom Corporation BCM4313).
The same results are obtained with Kubuntu 12.04.2.

The WiFi on the other hand is controlled by a switch which requires the 'fn' key to operate. I know it works because Windows can use it.

Fortunately neither is a significant problem but it would be nice if I could get access to the 'fn' functions, which include screen brightness and sound volume.

I checked the kernel configuration but did not find anything that looked like HP extras. I've looked for keyboard drivers without luck. Is there something else I should try?


TIA
Jim
Hi Jim,

I have a HP Pavilion g6 1222sg Laptop with Gentoo Linux installed and currently run kernel 3.8.5.
Brightness, loudness and fwd/backwards/play+pause work as well as "radio killswitch".

For radio killswitch You can use a command like "rfkill unblock 0" or -with NetworkManager et al- right-click on the networks symbol in the "tray" line (upper right usually) and choose "enable wireless networks" as well. That is, if Your bcm4313 wireless chip is supported.

IIRC, kernel 3.2.1 with some debian system (6.0.4) works as well with respect to fn function keys here.
 
Old 04-03-2013, 03:48 AM   #8
elvinhaak
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I have been looking for a list of commands and keycodes (and maybe simple app) that could insert these functions a couple of times but haven't found it for sofar.
the 'nice thing' for example on my Sony Vaio netbook is that on most distro's the sound-combination-keys work (louder, less noise) but none so far work with the back-lite of the screen.
Same for the eco-mode, and really the combinations of the internal + external screens. Some distro's do work some of these functions though, some make a different function.
On my MSI mini-laptop the screen changes between internal, internal+external, external and back to internal with the brightness-keys under Kubuntu, under AntiX these keys do nothing, while other keys do function.
On Ubuntu the same keys for brightness don't just switch the screen but also give brightnes (so the backlight)..... at the same time so work only if no external screen (like a beamer) is plugged in.

Is there some list and / or program that helps with implementing these key-functions on the different hardware, for most distro's?
I don't have a HP here at the moment that I can test on.
 
Old 04-03-2013, 11:58 PM   #9
CollieJim
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After careful observation (rare for me these days) I have determined that the 'fn' key does work. The bit I missed is that it is necessary to press 'fn' to get F1, F2... and that the primary functions of the top row of keys are volume, brightness, etc. Whether the 'action' keys or F* keys are primary is a BIOS setting.

I have verified again that Windows 7 can use wifi, but nothing so far has let Linux use it.
Kernel module brcmsmac is loaded. Is it possibly the wrong one?

At one point hovering the mouse over the network icon in the system tray gave me a message that wireless was turned off by hardware switch.
Code:
114 11:11:15 ~ $ rfkill list
1: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
2: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
3: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
4: phy0: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: yes
114 11:11:43 ~ $ sudo rfkill block all
[sudo] password for jim: 
115 11:12:19 ~ $ rfkill list
1: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
2: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
3: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
4: phy0: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
6: hci0: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
116 11:12:55 ~ $ sudo rfkill block all
117 11:13:59 ~ $ rfkill list
1: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: yes
	Hard blocked: no
2: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: yes
	Hard blocked: no
3: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: yes
	Hard blocked: no
4: phy0: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: yes
	Hard blocked: no
118 11:14:02 ~ $ sudo rfkill unblock all
119 11:14:20 ~ $ rfkill list
1: hp-wifi: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
2: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
3: hp-bluetooth: Bluetooth
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: no
4: phy0: Wireless LAN
	Soft blocked: no
	Hard blocked: yes
120 11:15:18 ~ $
Sometimes 4, other times 6 entries. Once a 0: appeared.

I thought a kernel upgrade would help. No such luck. I went from the default 3.2.0-39, which at least allowed the wireless key to control bluetooth, to 3.5.0-26. It does not respond to the wireless key.
Code:
121 11:25:32 ~ $ ifconfig
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr a0:b3:cc:46:d3:59  
          inet addr:192.168.1.132  Bcast:192.168.1.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          inet6 addr: fe80::a2b3:ccff:fe46:d359/64 Scope:Link
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:22887 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:21269 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:13504004 (13.5 MB)  TX bytes:4087832 (4.0 MB)

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:1228 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:1228 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:112581 (112.5 KB)  TX bytes:112581 (112.5 KB)

122 11:44:20 ~ $ sudo ifup wlan0
[sudo] password for jim: 
Ignoring unknown interface wlan0=wlan0.
123 11:44:44 ~ $

Last edited by CollieJim; 04-04-2013 at 07:30 AM. Reason: More information
 
Old 04-04-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
linuxonbute
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On mine there is a tiny LED built into the key which has F12 on it and a little icon which looks like a lighthouse. If you press this key on it's own that light will turn on ( or off if it's already on ) While it is on wireless is enabled.
See if that works for you.
 
Old 04-05-2013, 03:09 AM   #11
CollieJim
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I have the same F12 arrangement. With kernel 3.2 it changed from orange to white and worked with bluetooth but not wifi. I have upgraded the kernel to 3.5.0.26 and now the LED stays orange.

I have found, though, that if I boot Windows 7 and configure wireless to be on all the time that it is available in Kubuntu as well.
 
  


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