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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Getting the Thinkpad T60 media buttons to work

I had originally used XFCE's keyboard preferences applet to configure this, but I found that the tpb package offers volume up/down/mute support (natively, without your needing to write your own scripts), plus it provides a neat little OSD that shows you the volume level. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Install the tpb package via: sudo apt-get install tpb. You will be prompted to remove hotkey-setup, type y.
  2. Copy the /etc/tpbrc file to ~/.tpbrc.
  3. Edit ~/.tpbrc and look for the THINKPAD line, then change the command on the right to whatever command you want executed when the ThinkVantage button is pressed.
  4. If you have created a .Xmodmap to remap capslock to ctrl, uncomment the line that says XEVENTS OFF.
  5. Finally, make sure that the MIXER settings are all commented out and save the file.
  6. Add yourself to the nvram group via the Users and Groups applet.
  7. Edit /etc/default/tpb and change the line START_TPB="true" to START_TPB="false"; I've found if tpb starts automatically as root and you assign, say, xfce-setting-show to the ThinkVantage button, it won't be managed by your window manager.
  8. Add the following command in your Autostarted Applications applet: tpd -d
  9. Restart and try pressing the volume up/down keys

Troubleshooting: If it doesn't work, you can run tpd -v in the terminal to give you verbose output and help troubleshoot the problem. Type groups and double check that you are in the nvram group.


Don't run tpb -d as root!
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