My Thinkpad T430 has no visible indicator if a num lock/caps lock is on/off is there a way to notify on screen when turned on/off?


You can try getting info with xset:

xset q | grep Caps


00: Caps Lock:   off    01: Num Lock:    on     02: Scroll Lock: off

But if no X you can try kbdinfo:

kbdinfo gkbled


scrolllock:off numlock:on capslock:off

If you want to change states with xset you may check following answer.

Or you can change state using xdotool:

xdotool key Caps_Lock

For onscreen notifier you may check key-mon.

You can try also following script:


sleep .2

case $1 in

value="$(xset q | grep 'LED mask' | awk '{ print $NF }')"

if [ $(( 0x$value & 0x$mask )) == $mask ]
    output="$key Lock is on"
    output="$key Lock is off"

notify-send "$output"

You can copy script in /usr/local/bin and bind Caps to run it as:

/usr/local/bin/lockkey.sh caps

and/or Num as:

/usr/local/bin/lockkey.sh num
  • i have xset, but how do i change the value for Caps Lock? – user115806 Jun 5 '15 at 13:32
  • @user115806 I added link to answer for changing state of Caps Lock. But in your question you want only to check states. – taliezin Jun 5 '15 at 13:52
  • that's a very well written answer. I'll rephrase my question and my T430 doesn't have LED's to indicate its on/off so i thought if there's a way to notify on screen when caps lock is pressed. I also came across "notify-send" is there a way when i press caps lock and it shows up on my screen.? – user115806 Jun 5 '15 at 14:35
  • @taliezin how to bind Caps to the script? found this askubuntu.com/questions/15050/… used Compiz Config Settings Manager to bind the CapsLock key placed your script as CustomScript.sh in /usr/local/bin and did Chmod+x CustomScript.sh it didn't work :( – user115806 Jun 8 '15 at 12:46
  • Can you try first running script from command line: CustomScript.sh caps ? – taliezin Jun 8 '15 at 13:17

The T430 may have no CapsLock LED, but the Power LED can be SW controlled (tested with Linux kernel 4.2) and thus abused nicely. First add this to your /etc/rc.local:

echo kbd-capslock >/sys/class/leds/tpacpi::power/trigger
chmod 666 /sys/class/leds/tpacpi::power/brightness

The 1st line takes care of the text console and, as a side effect, turns the LED off initially. To handle X11 the 2nd line permits normal users to control the LED. Then save this code

sleep 0.1
if xset q | grep -q 'Caps Lock: *on'; then
    echo 255 >/sys/class/leds/tpacpi::power/brightness
    echo 0 >/sys/class/leds/tpacpi::power/brightness

as some executable script (e.g. /usr/local/bin/capsled.sh) and in your Desktop settings bind the CapsLock key to run it. Ugly as hell but works (tested with XFCE4). Does anyone know a cleaner way to remap the LED under X11?

CAPS_STATUS=`xset q | grep -i caps | cut -c 22-24`
#test on $CAPS_STATUS if its on or off 

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