Laptop suggestions?

Nate Eldredge neldredge at
Wed Oct 22 20:18:35 UTC 2008

On Wed, 22 Oct 2008, Gary Kline wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 01:06:29PM +0200, Dag-Erling Sm?rgrav wrote:
>> martinko <gamato at> writes:
>>> I have always thought that Fn key in left most bottom corner of the
>>> keyboard is, especially for programmers, a very bad idea.  :-(
>> Seconded.  Worse still, on my Lenovo T60, if the Fn key is held down
>> longer than a fraction of a second, it generates an input event which
>> just happens to correspond to Gnome's default key binding for the "next
>> track" function in media players...
> 	I've seen that Fn key, but don't know what it is for.  What? you press
> 	it, then follow with the integers [ 1, 2, 3 ... ]?   At any rate, maybe
> 	you can remap the key with ~/.xmodmaprc.

Fn is usually used on laptop keyboards to allow two logical keys to share 
a single physical key.  For example, see the keyboard pictured at .  On the extreme lower 
right is a key with "->" in white and "End" in blue.  Pressing it by 
itself sends the keycode corresponding to an ordinary keyboard's "->" key. 
Holding Fn and pressing that key sends the keycode corresponding to an 
ordinary keyboard's "End" key.  On many keyboards, pressing Fn by itself 
sends no keycode at all, so it cannot be remapped.

It is also sometimes used to control hardware features which on a desktop 
machine might have a different interface.  For instance, on the laptop 
pictured, holding Fn and pressing F6 would increase the screen brightness, 
probably without sending a keycode.  A desktop machine would probably have 
a button on the monitor itself to do this.


Nate Eldredge
neldredge at

More information about the freebsd-mobile mailing list