MicroSoft Natural wireless keyboard and Fedora 10


The MicroSoft Natural wireless keyboard generated odd, random error messages when I was trying to log into Fedora 10 without running Xwindows. The error messages would obscure what I was typing at the terminal, making it virtually impossible to use.

atkbd.c: Unknown key released (translated set 2, code 0x81 on isa0060/serio0).
atkbd.c: Use 'setkeycodes e001 <keycode>' to make it known.
atkbd.c: Unknown key pressed (translated set 2, code 0xd9 on isa0060/serio0).
atkbd.c: Use 'setkeycodes e059 <keycode>' to make it known.

It seems that this is a longstanding bug, well known among many flavors of GNU/linux. See, for example, the Fedora bug report from 2004. Here is an excellent article on how to fix it. The author is talking about Ubuntu, but the principles are the same for Fedora.

Solution: add two lines to /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit

His approach did not work for logging in after a restart. There was no /etc/init.d/ on my system. I fooled around trying to create one and scattered a bunch of symlinks in various etc/rc*.d folders. I put the necessary lines in my ~/.bash_profile so that after login all was well. But on the first prompt to login, I invariably got the @#$%*&! error messages. After hitting a few more dead ends (e.g., with /etc/profile), I decided to man up and edit /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit. I added two lines to the very bottom of the file:

# try to clear problem with MicroSoft natural wireless keyboard
setkeycodes e059 120
setkeycodes e001 121

Once upon a time, a young lad told his mother that he had a toothache. She took him to the dentist, who drilled and filled some cavities.

When they were leaving the dentist's office, the mother said, “Aren't you glad that you told me about your toothache?”

“No,” replied the boy. “All I wanted was two aspirin.”

I turned on my sandbox to do a quick Dokuwiki installation just to test a theory about the missing breadcrumbs. Within a few seconds after installing the wiki, I saw that the breadcrumbs were, in fact, alive and well on an Apache 2 / PHP 5 setup. There may yet be a fix for the server on which this wiki runs, but I see why Andreas has marked the problem fixed.

After that, I spent four or five hours learning how to get rid of the scancode errors. I guess I learned a lot. But, really, all I wanted was two aspirin.

blog/linux_wireless_keyboard_problem.txt · Last modified: 2017/07/13 20:33 (external edit)
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