Friday, 25 February 2011

Keyboard Conundrum

My little DELL Inspiron 1501 is proving to be an excellent test machine, but it has also presented a few interesting challenges in its own right.

One minor irritation that has plagued my Christmas acquisition is the behaviour of the Alt Gr key. I've always found it useful to insert special characters from the keyboard while I'm typing rather than searching for the insert special character option (or using copy & paste in applications that don't have a special character set). For instance, to insert the acute accent in a word like exposé or café, I just type: Alt Gr + ; followed by e. However, the Alt Gr key on my 1501 has remained obstinately dumb since the installation of Ubuntu.

The fix is quite simple: open a terminal and type

sudo setkeycodes 91 100

Type your administrator password at the prompt.

That's it! This fix has survived the reboot test and I'm assuming that it is a permanent solution. Now to fix that damned Windows key.

Sources & References:
Launchpad Bug #285908 zanonmark - post 66
Ubuntu Manpage getkeycodes
Ubuntu Manpage setkeycodes

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