Hotkey testing

Matthew Garrett mjg59 at
Mon Jan 2 04:03:30 GMT 2006

Several types of laptop have a keyboard controller made by a company 
called Wistron. These machines usually have hotkeys that generate 
keycodes providing that a register has been set in the keyboard 
controller first. At the moment, we don't support these out of the box.

The 2.6.15 kernel provides a driver that should enable these keys. 
Unfortunately, for it to be useful, we need to know which computers to 
load it on. Even more unfortunately, it tends to crash machines that 
don't have these controllers. So, the only real solution is for us to 
generate a whitelist of machines that work correctly with it.


Following this procedure may hang your machine. Make sure that all your 
work is saved.

1) First, switch to a text console (ctrl+alt+f1) and log in
2) Press a hotkey
3) Type dmesg. Does a message about unknown scan codes appear? If so, 
your hotkeys are already supported. Please ignore the rest of this.
4) Type showkey. Press your hotkeys. Do numbers appear? If so, this 
driver won't help you. Please ignore the rest of this.
5) Type sudo modprobe wistron_btns force=1
6) If your machine hangs, this driver isn't likely to help you 
(obviously enough). Please ignore the rest of this
7) If your machine doesn't hang, press all your hotkeys and then run 
dmesg again. Do you get any messages like ""wistron_btns: Unknown key 
code"? If not, this driver doesn't do anything for your hardware. Please 
ignore the rest of this.
8) So, you've loaded the driver, your machine hasn't hung and pressing 
keys generates messages about unknown key codes. Please email me the 
output of the dmidecode command (needs to be run with sudo) and the 
codes that each key generates. Once that's done, we ought to be able to 
support your machine automatically. Oh, and let me know if you have a 
wifi or bluetooth button - these need to be handled slightly specially.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at

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