Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a ps/2 keyboard connected to an Acer Aspire 1694 WLMI via a ps/2 to usb converter. The laptop is running Ubuntu 9.04.

The keyboard is a HP model number: SK-250C.

I have configured in the 'Keyboard Preferences' the layout to HP SK-250x Multimedia Keyboard.

The big problem is when I press certain keys (like for example the arrow keys) I get the 'Save Screenshot' dialog. This is really getting annoying, sometimes I am tying to write an address in browser and just want to go back a few letters and can't. There are other keys that trigger the dialog also (windows key, insert key, home key, page up and page down key, delete key, end key)

All works fine If I use the laptop keyboard, but I really want to use the HP keyboard.


I was testing this and it seems that if I have the 'Num Lock' key turned off the keys work properly. Strange but true!!

share|improve this question

OK so the model is an SK-250C and you told KeyboardPreferences it's an SL-250x

So far I see two big problems: (1) SK != SL (2) C != x

Keycodes are these nasty magic things; the bits have to align just right for them to be interpreted correctly.

So try a simpler keyboard definition and maybe your problems will go away.


So it'd be great to see this problem get resolved. I thought of something which might help.

Let's see how the system responds when you send those same keystrokes to a file from a virtual terminal. Specifically, try this and let us know the results:

  • switch to a virtual terminal; for example, ctrl-alt-f3
  • run 'cat > /tmp/keystrokes'
  • make sure numlock is set so the sequences will be generated
  • press any/all of the keys which give you problems.
  • press "^D" to exit cat
  • run "od -c /tmp/keystrokes" to look at the sequences which were generated
  • post the results of running od here if you can't figure out why they're causing a "screen print" at that point

  • share|improve this answer
    Sorry about that. The model is HP SK-250x and not SL-250x – AntonioCS Nov 14 '09 at 11:52
    Your edit adds that you had numlock on. This certainly makes sense; numlock affects the keycodes that are generated for any key considered part of the "numeric keypad". So, with numlock on, the keyboard is sending sequences which your windowing environment (or one of the tools running within it) interprets as you asking to save a screenshot. – pbr Nov 19 '09 at 15:52

    I have a nagging suspicion that this is a hardware issue.

    Just to check: Are the Ctrl keys "unsticky"? By that, I mean, does it lose its state after one use? That is, if, say, you hold down Ctrl then "S", let go of "S", then hit, say, "W", does the "W" get typed instead? As opposed to, I dunno, closing the current file or something similar?

    If you hold down the Caps Lock key, does the light go on (assuming it was off to begin with), then automatically turn off after a couple or so seconds?

    If both counts are true, then you're probably using a cheap PS/2-to-USB adapter with a keyboard that doesn't work properly with it. I've experienced this on a couple of Model Ms, a Dell AT101W and a Unisys MX 1800 (with Cherry Blacks).

    I only managed to get those keyboards sort-of working with a PS/2-to-USB adapter I got from ClickyKeyboards:

    I say "sort-of" because the right Ctrl key, Home, and maybe a couple other keys don't work at all, and the F-keys work intermittently (but at least my Caps Lock-turned-Ctrl key works properly, and lets me code in Emacs properly, so I'm relatively happy).

    share|improve this answer

    Have you looked in /var/log/Xorg.0.log for any lines starting with (EE) to indicate an error? Look there first. Also, what distribution are you running and what is your desktop environment?

    share|improve this answer

    You must log in to answer this question.

    Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .