Ubuntu 22.10 (11th Gen) upgrade : Fn key stopped working

Upgraded my 11th-Gen machine to kinetic (22.10) from jammy (22.04), and now the Fn key doesn’t register at all, and the media keys don’t work.

Any ideas?

Hi @Russell_Neches,

I’d be happy to help. I’m going to replicate your issue today on my own 11th gen.

While I get this set up, I do have some questions for you so I can best emulate what you’re experiencing. If any of these questions seem silly, are something you’ve already tried, please bear with me.

  • You indicated this happened on an upgrade from 22.04 to 22.10. So it is safe to assume these keys worked fine in 22.04?

  • Did you do any BIOS upgrades right before or right after upgrading to Ubuntu 22.10?

  • Do you have any power management tools installed like TLP or a custom Powertop configuration in use?

While I wait for a reply on this, I will work to replicate what you’re experiencing on my own computer.

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Hi @Russell_Neches,

I have live booted to Ubuntu 22.10 on X11 on my 11th gen Framework.

Testing actual key recognition (sensing presses themselves).

sudo showkey -k

I’m registering results for each key press holding Fn and pressing F1 through F12. So we’re seeing key presses. Please try this as well and see what you’re seeing.

Next let’s try the media keys. Still on the live install of Ubuntu 22.10:

Download a short wav file, opened it with the “Videos” application. Placed it on a loop so I could fully test the media keys.

Play, pause, << and >> all worked perfectly with the WAV file.

So this leads me to wonder if something went sideways with the upgrade process. Myself personally, I always prefer a home backup and a fresh installation for just such instances.

Please try this on your own system if possible, with a live USB of Ubuntu 22.10 and see if you see the same results.

Thanks :slight_smile:

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Make sure fn lock is not enabled by accident.

fn+esc

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@BluishHumility This. So right, so much this. :slight_smile:

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You indicated this happened on an upgrade from 22.04 to 22.10. So it is safe to assume these keys worked fine in 22.04?

Yep! Worked like a charm.

Did you do any BIOS upgrades right before or right after upgrading to Ubuntu 22.10?

I did update the BIOS to 784 about a month ago, but this did not affect the Fn key or media keys.

Do you have any power management tools installed like TLP or a custom Powertop configuration in use?

Nope.

Using showkey -k, no code registeres when I press the Fn key alone. Pressing the Fn key with any other key produces the same keycode as the key alone. Also, I cannot activate the keyboard backlight using Fn+[space]. On other laptops I’ve owned, that was a hardware thing, but the Framework may be different.

@Matt_Hartley I figured it out! It was locales, of all things. Somehow during the upgrade, the locales got purged and were not regenerated. dpkg-reconfigure locales and a reboot solved the problem.

The fact that Fn+space wouldn’t adjust the backlight had me so convinced it was a kernel/hardware thing I didn’t even consider the keyboard language as a source of trouble.

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Delighted you have this figured out, yeah, I’ve see locales do odd stuff in the past. So happy to hear you have this sorted.

I had this spontaneously happen on 22.10 after resuming from lock. @Russell_Neches perhaps your reboot temporarily solved it instead of locales?

It is possible. The Fn key has gone out to lunch twice since I posted this, but functioned again after a reboot. I thought before the locales issue the bug was persisting across reboots, but it could simply have been triggered twice.

A Framework Discord moderator mentioned that disabling the HID sensor hub kernel module (like you do to fix airplane/printscreen/gear keys) might work

Please try (assuming GNOME desktop):

sudo gedit /etc/default/grub

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"

to

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash modprobe.blacklist=module=hid_sensor_hub"

sudo update-grub2

then

sudo update-initramfs -u