Keyboard repeat issues with Dell Optiplex 980s

Jeremy Chadwick freebsd at
Tue Jan 18 22:56:19 UTC 2011

On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 04:40:13PM -0500, Steve Polyack wrote:
> We've recently upgraded a few desktop workstations from Dell
> Optiplex 960s to Optiplex 980s.  We were running FreeBSD
> 8.1-RELEASE.  The migration was performed by simply swapping the
> drives into the new systems.  Immediately after switching people
> over, they all began to report bizarre keyboard issues - things like
> infinite key repeats (letters, numbers, "enter") for keys they did
> not hold down.  The key repeats continue indefinitely until another
> key is pressed.  Occasionally, even mouse input will trigger similar
> infinite keyboard input repetition.  In addition to the repeat
> issue, sometimes physical key-presses are not registered by FreeBSD,
> leading to typos and angry developers.
> We've tried doing fresh installs of FreeBSD 8.2-RC2 on two of these
> systems, and the issue persists.  Because of the observed behavior,
> I'm thinking that this is due to new hardware in the 980s which
> isn't timing or handling interrupts correctly under the FreeBSD
> kernel.
> Looking at a 'pciconf -lvb' from each system, I noticed that the 980
> has two USB controllers which probe under ehci(4), while the 960
> (which does not exhibit this problem), enumerates six uhci(4)
> controllers and two ehci(4) controllers.  To cut to the chase here,
> the 960 users' keyboards probe under a USB1.0 uhci(4), while the
> 980s only have ehci(4) devices to attach to.
> So, I guess what I'm asking is - has anyone else seen any keyboard
> repeat or other USB craziness with ehci(4) ports or otherwise Intel
> PCH controllers?    Any fellow Optiplex 980 users?  I'd be more than
> happy to provide pciconf or other output if requested.

Try adding the following to /boot/loader.conf then reboot and see if
the "excessive repeat" behaviour changes:


It would also help if you would state exactly what brand/model of
keyboard is used.  Yes, believe it or not, it matters.  dmesg output
would be helpful in this case.

| Jeremy Chadwick                                   jdc at |
| Parodius Networking              |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                  Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.               PGP 4BD6C0CB |

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