Keyboard problem on Debian

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Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby linuxxxxx:( » 2020-09-03 23:02

Hello, I'm a Linux newbie and can't get my laptop keyboard to work. Apologies if I'm missing any obvious steps, or being unclear describing what I've tried. I have tried for around a week and a half, doing lots of googling, reading manuals, and poking in config files, but I'm too novice to not ask for help at this point.

Keyboard works in the grub menu, UEFI, and if I start in CLI. It worked during the installer, but when I get to the desktop, the only things that work are Fn + keys like brightness, switching display, and enabling trackpad.

Over the past couple weeks, I've tried Debian with multiple desktop environments, tried live from usb, and installed with the non-free firmware. I've also tried other distros based on Debian (? is it called a different distro if it's based on Debian, like antiX or Parrot OS?) and always had nearly identical problems. I've only been able to get Linux Lite, which I understand to be Ubuntu based, to work with no problems.

I just discovered the showkey program (it's a program, right?) and was surprised to discover all the keys are being detected. So does that imply it isn't a driver problem?
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby sgosnell » 2020-09-03 23:17

Exactly where does the keyboard not work? There is no place on the desktop that takes keyboard entry directly. Does the keyboard work in programs, like a text editor? Sorry, but I'm not clear on exactly what the issue is, nor what you expect to happen.
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby linuxxxxx:( » 2020-09-03 23:45

Well thank you for asking. My apologies, then, for being unclear.

Uhh the keyboard doesn't do basically anything at all whenever I try to do anything on a Debian desktop. If I open a text editor, a terminal, or any program I've tried, if I am prompted to log in at start up, etc. I can't type anything. Almost no keyboard input does anything. The only thing I can do is a few Fn switches, for screen brightness, activating the trackpad, and switching display. And I did check to see if some Fn + F key disables the keyboard, but that's not a thing on my laptop.

With the onscreen keyboard, I got into a terminal and tried to use showkeys and xev. Using showkeys registers key presses, xev doesn't seem to show anything happening.

Is that clearer?
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby sgosnell » 2020-09-04 00:04

So you can log in to the desktop, but thereafter the keyboard doesn't work? What model laptop is this? Not that I would know anything about it, but perhsps someone else might come along who knows something about it. I have no ideas at present, but I'll try to get time to do some searching. Also the desktop enviironment might be nice to know.
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby linuxxxxx:( » 2020-09-04 00:16

No, maybe I could've been clearer still about that. I'm using a live boot right now, because installing and having to log into a profile to get to the desktop doesn't work since I can't type credentials. I've only been able to get the keyboard to work if I go into the grub menu and boot without a GUI.

I'm using Parrot OS right now, on MATE, but as I said, none of the other desktop environments have worked, on Debian or any derivative and Debian has been a common factor.

The laptop is an Acer Aspire ES1-511.



And thank you I appreciate even just the time you've given me thus far.
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby Bulkley » 2020-09-04 00:55

Does the laptop have the option of not loading UEFI and booting legacy instead?
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby linuxxxxx:( » 2020-09-04 02:09

Bulkley wrote:Does the laptop have the option of not loading UEFI and booting legacy instead?


Hello, yes it does.
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby Bulkley » 2020-09-04 04:07

You might try an install without the UEFI.

If you can find or borrow an old keyboard with a wire you might be able to plug it in and bypass the laptop keyboard as a temporary tool.

BTW, the Grub boot loader usually has a "safe boot" option. There may be a 5 second delay to make a choice so it can take a bit of practice. Using it can give you an opportunity to fix things.
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby Luiz1965 » 2020-09-04 22:02

I also have an Acer E5-511, until Debian 10.4 everything worked, as soon as I upgraded to Debian 10.5 the keyboard, and touchpad stopped working. However, using a USB keyboard, I enter tty 1, the keyboard works again. I solved it by doing a kernel downgrade.
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby sgosnell » 2020-09-04 23:25

It should be possible to put that in a file in /etc/init.d and have it run automatically at boot, without needing to downgrade the kernel.
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby Luiz1965 » 2020-09-05 17:01

It may be, but I don't have enough knowledge for that. I know that hwinfo, dmesg, Xorg.0.log, and evtest from both kernels are no different, both touchpad and keyboard are recognized. Only the xev that shows difference, because in the kernel of version 10.5, as the laptop's internal keyboard does not work, it does not present any event.
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Re: Keyboard problem on Debian

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-09-05 18:58

Boot with the latest kernel, switch to a TTY and run
Code: Select all
# dpkg-reconfigure udev
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Debian buster-backports ISO image: for new hardware support
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