Kubuntu Hardy Heron Mac Keyboard Function Key Fix

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From http://tipotheday.com/2008/04/30/slim-aluminum-apple-keyboard-with-ubuntu-hardy-heron/

If you press the ‘clear’ button on the Apple keyboard, it functions as the NumLock button would on a regular PC keyboard. It turns NumLock on, but then part of the alpha portion of the keyboard works like the number pad — as it would on a compact laptop or PowerBook keyboard. Once engaged, pressing ‘clear’ again does not switch it off! Since Gnome stores the state of NumLock between sessions, rebooting doesn’t help. You’re able to log in, but once your session is loaded, NumLock is turned right back on.

If it’s stuck in the on position, you can tap the F6 key twice to turn it back off — when the layout is changed by the ‘clear’ key, F6 becomes the new NumLock. It does this because it assumes you are using a PowerBook style keyboard with no dedicated number pad. This is a kernel bug introduced by a recent patch to the Mac keyboard driver.

To get your number pad working normally, you can set a couple of compatibility options.

  • Select System > Preferences > Keyboard
  • Go to the Layouts tab
  • Click Layout Options…
  • Under Miscellaneous compatibility options, select both Default numeric keypad keys and Numeric keypad keys work as with Mac

Unfortunately, ‘clear’ will still cause the funky behavior described above. Until this bug is patched, just remember you can tap F6 twice if NumLock is stuck on.