Laptop Multimedia Keys and PCLinuxOS 2009

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I installed PCLinuxOS 2009 recently on a Dell D630 Latitude and was disappointed to see that I couldn’t get the hardware volume (up/down/mute) buttons didn’t work out of the box.  I thought a bit about kmilo, a program that was previously used for laptop buttons (thinkpad buttons though) and I searched around a bit inside the KDE Control Center for keyboard shortcuts to see if I could assign the keys manually.  However, I couldn’t find any volume setting inside this menu.

Then, it hit me, I had remembered seeing volume settings before…inside kmix; there is an area for assigning global shortcuts for volume and mute!  This should work for anyone running KDE 3.5.8 and above (I think).  Left click on Kmix in your tray and choose the mixer button.  From there, choose Settings >> Configure Global Shortcuts.  Now assign the volume up, down, and mute keys manually by clicking in the blank and pressing the hardware button.  This should work for a majority of people out there.  For me though, this didn’t work.  When pressing the keys, nothing happened.  I thought I was doomed.

I researched a bit more and found that installing a program called keytouch would allow me to, at the very least, program my keyboard in any way I wanted to program it.  I opened Synaptic and installed keytouch and keytouch-editor.  After install, I went to Kmenu >> System >> Configuration >> Hardware >> Keytouch.  It prompted me to choose my keyboard.  Since it didn’t have the Dell D630, I chose the closest thing which was the Dell D800.  I closed the application and now the volume buttons and mute button works!  Keytouch also has the ability to manually edit and also to import keytouch ‘schemas’ to give maximum flexibility.  Hopefully, this helps some of you out there that cannot get your multimedia keys working in PCLinuxOS and KDE to work!

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devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix administrator, a Technical Writer, and a System Analyst during his 10 years working with Technology.

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