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Old 08-07-2006, 07:20 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Greece
Distribution: Debian sid
Posts: 248

Rep: Reputation: 30
How to make extra keys work on acer aspire 9113? They don't have scancodes!

I've just bought a new acer aspire 9113 laptop and I am having problems configuring the keyboard and remote control.

First, I should explain that the remote control works at a hardware level and the OS sees it as if it was a keyboard. For example, if I press the volume up button on the remote, xev shows this:
KeyPress event, serial 27, synthetic NO, window 0x3a00001,
root 0x52, subw 0x0, time 3898110415, (594,281), root:(608,329),
state 0x0, keycode 176 (keysym 0x0, NoSymbol), same_screen YES,
XLookupString gives 0 bytes:
XmbLookupString gives 0 bytes:
XFilterEvent returns: False
The problem is that there are some buttons on the remote and some hotkeys on the laptop that don't generate an keypress event (according to xev) but they also don't have a scancode (according to showkey). Without a scancode, they are useless.

However, those keys do work with acer InstantOn Arcade.

Acer InstantOn arcade is a "feature" that allows you to get into acer arcade without booting windows and play dvds, see TV, play mp3s etc. In fact, it is a small linux system found in C:\Program Files\Acer Arcade\image, which is an ext3 disk image. It boots in almost 3 seconds and launches the linux version of arcade.

In there, I am able to use all the remote control buttons. Most of them are mapped to letters, so pressing "Stop" in a shell prints an "s" etc. (I've hacked it a bit to start busybox ash instead of arcade so I am able to get runtime information.) In their startup scripts, they use the setkeycode command to map scancodes to keycodes but in my suse system, there are no scancodes, so I assume that these scripts will do nothing if I run them on suse. I think it might be an extra module doing this, although in the startup scripts I can't see any related script/function.

Here is the output of `cat /proc/modules` (lsmod doen't exist in there)
esm7skl 46316 0 - Live 0xf8f42000
esd7skl 15600 0 - Live 0xf8f15000
ems7skl 32464 0 - Live 0xf8f0c000
saa713x 354024 0 - Live 0xf9015000
mt352 103712 1 saa713x, Live 0xf8f1c000
aver_ftable 359320 0 - Live 0xf8f5b000
dvb_core 77608 1 saa713x, Live 0xf8eed000
videodev 7552 1 saa713x, Live 0xf8e85000
i2c_dev 8192 0 - Live 0xf887d000
udf 87044 0 - Live 0xf8ed6000
isofs 24452 0 - Live 0xf8eaa000
sr_mod 14372 0 - Live 0xf8ea5000
cdrom 38816 1 sr_mod, Live 0xf8eb2000
usbhid 26692 0 - Live 0xf8e9d000
ehci_hcd 29384 0 - Live 0xf8e94000
uhci_hcd 29776 0 - Live 0xf8e8b000
button 5328 0 - Live 0xf887a000
battery 8004 0 - Live 0xf8877000
nvidia 4184212 0 - Live 0xf930c000
agpgart 29964 1 nvidia, Live 0xf8817000
Also, `cat /proc/version` shows linux compiled with gcc 3.4.2

So, is there any way to make those keys work under suse?

PS: I may not reply before august 24th because I will be on vacations. Post any suggestions here and I will try them when I will be back. I can give you other information about InstantOn arcade if you want.
Old 09-01-2006, 07:02 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Greece
Distribution: Debian sid
Posts: 248

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Well, I switched to gentoo and I followed a gentoo tutorial to make those keys work and they work now.
I shouldn't have used showkey. The scancodes appear in /var/log/messages

Note for users of this laptop: I managed to make the remote control work. The other buttons on the laptop (9 arcade buttons and 4 hotkeys) don't work neither in gentoo nor in InstantOn arcade. They don't seem to be part of the keyboard. They probably are a separate device that linux cannot see and control.

Last edited by gkiagia; 09-01-2006 at 07:06 AM.
Old 09-05-2006, 04:32 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Greece
Distribution: Debian sid
Posts: 248

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Just some more info for users of this laptop... InstantOn arcade is just a modded version of cyberlink powercinema for linux (PCMlinux). I found that today.
Old 09-05-2006, 07:33 AM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 1,897

Rep: Reputation: 63
Thanks gkiagia for all this information
I couldn't have helped, because I did not know any of this, and I'm glad you told us.
Well done, by the way, you did extremely well.

Old 10-20-2006, 01:48 PM   #5
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Greece
Distribution: Debian sid
Posts: 248

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
As this post is one of the top ten in google when I search for aspire 9113 and linux, I will announce here that I have made a website with all the information I collected and that I figured out about Acer Aspire 9113WLMi.

My website is here:

So, If you own such a laptop and you want to put linux on it, visit my page to solve most of your questions.


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