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A lot of people say that Thinkpad Buttons prevents the CPU from saving power and shouldn't be used but it is the only solution for Thinkpads I know that shows OSD for volume keys. hotkey-setup that came with Ubuntu Jaunty can't even intercept those keys. Is there a better alternative, that is good enough with CPU sleeping states and can show OSD?

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What do you mean with tpb? What is it short for? – Johan Sep 7 '09 at 10:19
It's short for "ThinkPad Buttons". It's one of the tools under Linux that can make Thinkpad special buttons work. The only one if you need OSD though. – vava Sep 7 '09 at 10:58
ok, never heard of it. – Johan Sep 7 '09 at 11:53
When you say OSD, do mean getting visual feedback when you volume up / down? I have jaunty installed on a t40 and a t61p and I get this behavior by default. – DaveParillo Sep 17 '09 at 14:32
Hm, I don't, there's no OSD at all. – vava Sep 18 '09 at 1:39

The modern equivalent is the HAL daemon, hald. When hald is running you can:

  1. Get or Set properites
  2. Find device objects by property matching or by capability matching
  3. List all the hal devices


lshal | grep input


hal-find-by-capability --capability input | xargs -n1 lshal -u

for a list of all the input devices & buttons known to hald

Update I'm using Gnome. If you're running KDE, you can try kcontrol. Refer to this HowTo - it's a bit dated. kcontrol is kde3, systemsettings in kde4. I think the nvram group setting are still applicable.

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sure but there's no OSD :) – vava Oct 24 '09 at 12:22
I'm currently running Ubuntu 9.04 on a T61p, my volume keys work and there is associated partially translucent OSD when adjusting the volume. Maybe I don't get you're question really. I haven't installed anything special to make this happen. – DaveParillo Oct 24 '09 at 16:19
My OSD looks like this:… – DaveParillo Oct 24 '09 at 16:47
@DaveParillo, hm, no, I don't have any visual confirmation when I use volume button or any other special kind of button for that matter. I hope that upgrade to 9.10 will cure the problem then. – vava Oct 25 '09 at 8:07
Note that hald is no deprecated, and (mostly) replaced by udev. – sleske Aug 1 '14 at 7:39

I don't have a ThinkPad to try these on, but googling for "thinkpad buttons linux" gave me these two promising links:

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