As previously blogged my wife bought me a Slim Aluminum Apple Keyboard which I’ve been slowly configuring to work with Ubuntu and now I believe I’ve gotten a sweet configuration, to the point where I’m now more comfortable with my Apple keyboard than the standard Dell keyboard I use at work.
Initially there were a couple of quirks about the Apple keyboard under Ubuntu. I’ve only used this under Interpid and Jaunty. I believe that there are some basic issues with this keyboard in Hardy due to the version of the kernel it’s running.
Let’s begin. Firstly the keyboard function keys only worked when the Fn key is pressed. Ideally I’d rather press the Fn key to access the extra function like Brightness, Volume, etc. The solution is really simple. Add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/apple_kbd.conf.
options hid pb_fnmode=2
options hid_apple fnmode=2
Now run the following command to make this change persist across reboots.
sudo update-initramfs -k `uname -r` -u
Reboot to take effect.
The second problem was a little more confusing. Basically the Apple keyboard doesn’t appear have a # key!
Hint: It does, it’s just not printed on the key.
I initially installed Ubuntu with the United Kingdom keyboard. So the following are the steps I followed to allow me to overcome this issue …
- Select System > Preferences > Keyboard
- Go to the Layouts tab
- Click Add…
- Under the By country tab I chose Country: United Kingdom and Variant: United Kingdom Macintosh
- Click Layout Options…
- Under Miscellaneous compatibility options, select both Default numeric keypad keys and Numeric keypad keys work as with Mac
- I then removed the old United Kingdom keyboard layout.
Now with the new United Kingdom Macintosh layout enabled you can get a # symbol by pressing Right-Alt + 3. You can now also get the € symbol by pressing Right-Alt + 2