Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ubuntu : Gnome - Mapping the Logitech Access Keyboard multimedia keys

An easy way to map the extra buttons of a Logitech Access Keyboard inside of Gnome.

Short version :

1. Click the System Menu, then Preferences and then Keyboard Shortcuts
2. Click the action you want to assign and then press they key(s) you are assigning this action to.

Note :
I wasn't able to assign actions to all the extra buttons at the top.

Note : When I changed my keyboard layout settings some of the other buttons started working. Find this in System -> Preferences -> Keyboard under the layouts tab.

To get ALT+F4 to work you may have to turn "F Lock" on by pressing the F Lock key which is to the left of the escape key. When "F Lock" is on the bottom led closest to the number pad should be on.

Long version + screen shots :

Tonight I came across the ever so famous Logitech Access Keyboard and decided to give it a shot in Ubuntu. I never expected any of the buttons to work however the Email, My Home and Search button all worked right after I plugged it in.

Logitech Access Keyboard

While researching this issue I noticed two schools of thought :
  1. edit some text file and map the keyboard manually
  2. download an application which will "manage" the extra keys for you, etc
However I found the Gnome Keyboard Shortcuts tool to suit most of my needs.

Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcut ->

Gnome Keyboard Shortcut tool image

I was able to map keys to adjust the volume, load my browser, start my email program and start the gnome search tool all with.

* I also discovered that ALT+F4 will not close the current window unless you've turned on "Function" by pressing the small F Lock key to the left of the escape key.

F Lock Key

When F Lock is "on" the bottom led light will be on. For me when FLock was off I was unable to close active windows with alt+f4.

F Lock led light

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