I have an Acer Aspire V5 laptop for home use whose keyboard's lower-left corner has the keys arranged like this

Ctrl Fn  ❖ Alt

This differs from, and IMO is less comfortable than, the arrangements I find in every other keyboard I use, namely these

 Fn Ctrl ❖ Alt (my work laptop)

     Ctrl ❖ Alt (my desktops at home and at work)

I really would like the Acer's Ctrl and  Fn  keys to switch places, so to speak.1

The BIOS for this Acer, AFAICT, offers no option for flipping the  Fn  and Ctrl keys.2

Is there some way that I can switch these keys by remapping them at the software level?

1 The Acer's different layout is more than just an annoyance. It causes me to make frequent errors (as I press  Fn  when in fact I want to be pressing Ctrl). Moreover, after I become habituated to the Acer, and then switch to my work laptop, I start making the same sort of error all over again. These errors are often disorienting, especially if I'm working quickly, and they have the potential for being costly.

2 My work laptop's BIOS does offer such an option, but, ironically, perhaps because I am an Emacs user, I find my work laptop's key arrangement to be the more ergonomically comfortable to the two, by far. Since I use my work laptop far more than the Acer, I am very reluctant to make it less sound ergonomically by availing myself of its BIOS option.


1 Answer 1


(Converting some deleted comments to an answer)

The Fn key is used internally by your keyboard, i.e. it's a hardware modifier and usually xev can't see it because it doesn't generate a scancode. So, as far as X is concerned that key doesn't exist. Switch to a VT and then use showkey -s and you won't get any output when pressing the Fn key.

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