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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).


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Old 11-09-2005, 06:04 AM   #1
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Question fn keys and xev

I have a laptop and some "Fn" keys weren't recognized by the kernel (linux 2.6.13). Therefore, I "setkeycodes" as suggested by dmesg, and mapped them with xmodmap. That way xev recognizes them properly. However, xev seems pretty confused by them.

The keys I "setkeycoded" are reported released and then pressed (respectively) as if when I release the key it is "pressed" to the kernel and vice versa...

I thought it had something to do with ACPI, as the "suspend" key triggers an ACPI event. But there seems to be no event bound for that keys.

Has anyone else experienced this VERY weird behavior?

The laptop is a Dell D510. Thanks.

Last edited by kmisfit; 11-09-2005 at 10:01 AM.
Old 01-19-2006, 03:59 AM   #2
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Hi Kmisfit,

I have a Dell Latitude D610 and I've noticed the same thing. I still don't know how to get most of my Fn-keys to work in X. Just wondering though, how did you map them with xmodmap so "xev" can see them? I would be interested to try that out.

Assuming you have suspend working on your laptop, you can get the suspend key to work by creating a file in the acpi events directory, '/etc/acpi/events/sleep.conf', with the contents


Note that the "action" line may be different on your machine, depending on what command triggers suspension (I have Software Suspend 2 on my machine).

Anyway, let me know about xmodmap, I'm very curious about it...thanks...
Old 01-19-2006, 04:42 AM   #3
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Question xmodmap, xev, and Dell Fn-keys

Ah, figured out xmodmap, and now I see what you mean. I tried to map the "eject" function key (Fn-F10) by assigning it to "F19" via xmodmap. Then when I tried xev, it registered the event, but showed "keysym 0x0, NoSymbol". So it doesn't seem to want to assign symbols to these keys, even though it will recognize them when pressed.

If anybody has any ideas about this, I'm all ears!

Old 02-08-2006, 12:27 AM   #4
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Hi kmisfit,

I've had some success getting Fn-keys to work in Fedora (I have a Dell Latitude D610). However, I should mention that using xmodmap and xev is apparently very unstable, and often one has to restart X (or even reboot) to get things working right after messing with these tools.

I have configured the "hibernate" key (Fn-F1) to trigger Suspend-to-Disk, and the "eject" key to eject a CD, but you could easily configure other Fn-keys using the same method. So, here we go... In my rc.local script, I put the following:

setkeycodes e00a 123
setkeycodes e009 122

In the file ~/.Xmodmap, I placed these commands:

keycode 210 = F14
keycode 209 = F15

Then, using gconf-editor (in Gnome) I mapped these keys to the desired tasks. (Of course, you have to restart X for this to take effect.) Now, the strange part is, I couldn't get any other keycodes to work EXCEPT 123 and 122, which map (respectively) to 210 and 209 respectively. I don't know why none of the other codes seem to work. But I hope they will work for you. Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck,


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