Getting special keys to work [MOSTLY SOLVED]

John Hupp lubuntu at
Wed Apr 30 23:50:09 UTC 2014

See #57 for 
dbus-send commands that accomplish most of what I wanted.

dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.ConsoleKit 

dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.ConsoleKit 
/org/freedesktop/ConsoleKit/Manager org.freedesktop.ConsoleKit.Manager.Stop

dbus-send --print-reply --system --dest=org.freedesktop.UPower 
/org/freedesktop/UPower org.freedesktop.UPower.Suspend

Hibernate does not work, but it turns out that it does not work in the 
Lubuntu logout menu either.  See bug But if 
"sudo pm-hibernate" works, then you can also make Hibernate work from 
the logout menu in accord with the given workaround:
     Create the file 

     The file must have the following content:

     [Re-enable hibernate by default]

There is also a dbus-send command which would be nice for a keyboard 
shortcut, but even after creating the above file it yields a "not 
authorized" error for reasons I don't understand. The dbus-send command:
dbus-send --print-reply --system --dest=org.freedesktop.UPower 
/org/freedesktop/UPower org.freedesktop.UPower.Hibernate

On 4/30/2014 4:11 PM, John Hupp wrote:
> One problem solved: If I use "nmcli nm wifi on" and "nmcli nm wifi 
> off" instead of the rfkill commands, this toggles the wifi radio 
> without root permissions.
> Now if I could find some suspend/standby and hibernate commands that 
> don't require root permission, this job would be done!
> On 4/30/2014 3:30 PM, John Hupp wrote:
>> I spoke too soon.  All the programs (rfkill, pm-suspend, 
>> pm-hibernate) must run as root, and nothing I have tried so far has 
>> allowed these keys to work as I intend.
>> I created /home/<user>/.config/openbox/ with this content:
>> #!/bin/bash
>> if [ $(rfkill list wifi | grep "Soft blocked: yes" | wc -l) -eq 1 ] ; 
>> then
>>     rfkill unblock wifi
>>     zenity --info --text "Enabled wireless"
>> else
>>     rfkill block wifi
>>     zenity --info --text "Disabled wireless"
>> fi
>> On 4/30/2014 1:09 PM, John Hupp wrote:
>>> After thinking about it, I used an Upstart job to do what the 
>>> MultiMediaKeys article instructed to be done with or 
>>> rc.local.
>>> Though I'm no better than an Upstart hacker, especially with regard 
>>> to choice of a 'start on' event, I created 
>>> /etc/init/kb-keys-customize.conf with this content:
>>> # kb-keys-customize
>>> # Map key codes to the scan codes emitted by Fn-F4, Fn-F5, Fn-F12
>>> description "Map Fn-F4, Fn-F5 and Fn-F12 kernel scancodes to kernel 
>>> keycodes"
>>> author "John Hupp"
>>> start on local-filesystems
>>> script
>>>     setkeycodes e017 128 e016 129 e018 130
>>> end script
>>> After rebooting, I found that 'xev -event keyboard' now reports that 
>>> Fn-F4, Fn-F5 and Fn-F12 are mapped to X keysyms Cancel, Redo and 
>>> SunProps, so I expect that I should be able to bind those keys in 
>>> lubuntu-rc.xml to Andre's suggested commands.
>>> On 4/29/2014 6:08 PM, John Hupp wrote:
>>>> The next problem is that Fn-F4 and Fn-F5 don't generate any 
>>>> keysyms, so they can't be bound to the commands suggested by Andre.
>>>> To deal with that, I've been following the In-Depth Instructions in 
>>>>, and I have 
>>>> identified the scancodes and picked a couple unassigned kernel 
>>>> keycodes, but that article is old, and writing setkeycodes commands 
>>>> into /etc/init.d/ or /etc/rc.local seems deprecated 
>>>> (those files don't exist).
>>>> On 4/29/2014 3:54 PM, John Hupp wrote:
>>>>> I've been looking at the Exec lines in several versions of 
>>>>> ~/.config/autostart/LXRandR-autostart.desktop (created when one 
>>>>> clicks Save in LXRandR) and thinking about how I could create 
>>>>> something that would cause Fn-F7 to toggle through the LVDS, VGA 
>>>>> and S-Video outputs, but your approach -- simply binding to 
>>>>> LXRandR -- is a MUCH better idea!
>>>>> And if I wanted to add the ability to extend the desktop instead 
>>>>> of mirroring it, I could install arandr and just bind to that instead.
>>>>> On 4/29/2014 3:18 PM, Andre Rodovalho wrote:
>>>>>> 2014-04-29 16:13 GMT-03:00 Andre Rodovalho 
>>>>>> <andre.rodovalho at <mailto:andre.rodovalho at>>:
>>>>>>     On lubuntu-rc.xml I do:
>>>>>>     <keybind key="XF86Display">
>>>>>>           <action name="Execute">
>>>>>>     <command>lxrandr</command>
>>>>>>           </action>
>>>>>>         </keybind>
>>>>>>     *lxrandr* deals with additional monitors, you just enable
>>>>>>     them an apply.
>>>>>>     Hope that helps! To test the shortcuts without restarting all
>>>>>>     the system you can restart only openbox: *openbox --restart*
>>>>>>     2014-04-28 22:03 GMT-03:00 Israel <israeldahl at
>>>>>>     <mailto:israeldahl at>>:
>>>>>>         On 04/28/2014 07:48 PM, John Hupp wrote:
>>>>>>         > I was trying to watch Netflix on a laptop (with
>>>>>>         Lubuntu) connected to
>>>>>>         > a TV by S-Video connection.  I found out that Fn-F7 was
>>>>>>         not working to
>>>>>>         > select the external VGA or S-Video displays.
>>>>>>         >
>>>>>>         > Subsequently I found that Fn-F4 does not put the laptop
>>>>>>         to sleep, and
>>>>>>         > Fn-F5 does not toggle the WiFi radio on/off.  (The
>>>>>>         other common
>>>>>>         > special keys work OK.)
>>>>>>         >
>>>>>>         > So I'm trying to get those keys working that way via
>>>>>>         entries in
>>>>>>         > lubuntu-rc.xml.
>>>>>>         >
>>>>>>         > With 'xev -event keyboard' I found out that Fn-F7
>>>>>>         produces the keysym
>>>>>>         > 'XF86Display' but I still need to know what command to
>>>>>>         bind that to.
>>>>>>         > So that's my first question.
>>>>>>         >
>>>>>>         > Fn-F4 and Fn-F5 does not produce any keysym's, so I'm
>>>>>>         currently at a
>>>>>>         > loss for how to proceed next with those.
>>>>>>         >
>>>>>>         >
>>>>>>         Hi,
>>>>>>         you can use arandr to make a shell script to switch the
>>>>>>         display to a
>>>>>>         certain mode.  Plug in the monitor and use arandr to make
>>>>>>         a setup you
>>>>>>         want, and save that.  Then open your config file for
>>>>>>         openbox and set
>>>>>>         the keyboard shortcut for your display key (i.e. XF86Display)
>>>>>>         to execute the
>>>>>>         <command>
>>>>>>         /bin/bash /path/to/
>>>>>>         </command>
>>>>>>         while is whatever you saved the setup as
>>>>>>         with the correct
>>>>>>         path.
>>>>>>         arandr is a front-end for xrandr.  So the script is
>>>>>>         actually using
>>>>>>         xrandr to modify your display settings.
>>>>>>         I hope this helps.

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