Enabling keyboard hotkeys under KDE

I’ve just been sitting down with the laptop for a while (Dell Inspiron 8000) it’s an older laptop by current standards I guess, but it does well for me. The inspiron 8000 has some “hotkeys” for volume up and down, mute and controlling the cd player (play, stop, next and previous tracks.) It’s pretty standard these days to have hot keys of some sort on the keyboard for at least the volume. I realized though that I had never setup those hotkeys under KDE (Frequent visitors will remember that I use linux as the primary desktop.) Now, I guess some would have tried the hotkeys and, on seeing no response, conclude “hotkeys don’t work under linux.” That, of course, would be wrong….

I’m running Mandriva 2006 with KDE as the default desktop environment. You may have a different software stack, so keep that in mind. Under Mandriva, the KDE control panel can be found from the Kicker (Start) Menu, System, Configuration, Configure Your Desktop. Once the Kcontrol panel opens, you need to look in the left hand side of the screen for Accessibility. Click on the + sign to expand that cluster of options. Next you’re going to highlight “Keyboard Layout”.

You’ll want to check “Enable keyboard layouts”. As a side note, you can see here that this is where you would enable various language layouts… it can be fun to play with if you’re learning another language as you won’t have to hunt for the non-english characters (umlauts/diacritics/etc.etc.) ANYWAY…

Now that you’ve enabled keyboard layouts… There’s some text that says “Keyboard Model” with a drop down box underneath. Here, I selected Laptop/notebook Dell Inspiron 8xxx for my Dell Inspiron 8000. Next I clicked apply and instantly, automagically, I was able to adjust volume and mute with the hotkeys. Nice. At this point you can close out. There is a LONG list of keyboards in this area and I’d be surprised if you find that your keyboard is missing. IF it is missing though, you might be able to do some google searching to find what it might be comparable with. (Linux KDE keyboard layouts modelofkeyboard.)

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