I am installing Arch Linux on a Thinkpad W530, using the LiveCD. When I boot from the LiveCD, at the Syslinux bootloader screen, my hardware buttons (volume/mute) and Fn-keys work. I am able to control the brightness. But once I boot into the Arch live medium, they stop working. I checked lsmod and have thinkpad_acpi running. Is this just a problem because I am running LiveCD and haven't installed Arch yet?

Is there another module that I have to run? Do I need to install Xorg first?

I have installed Debian and Ubuntu, and almost everything works out of the box. Including when running their LiveCD. What allows Ubuntu to recognize the Fn-keys?

  • Does the W530 have optimus options in BIOS? Which GPU are you using to boot? Try adding nox2apic to the kernel boot line.
    – ILMostro_7
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 22:25
  • Yes, it does. I also tried just booting with the integrated card. And I added that parameter and I still get the same issue. Commented May 21, 2016 at 22:33
  • I feel like I had dealt with something like this before on Arch, can't remember specific fix. What's the output of lsmod, if you can provide it somehow?
    – ILMostro_7
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 22:41
  • Wait, so the main question is about the Function Keys working correctly? Now I have to regroup my thoughts about this question.
    – ILMostro_7
    Commented May 21, 2016 at 22:43
  • Yes, sorry if I confused you. I was wondering why the Fn keys and hardware buttons work in the selection menu of the live CD but not the actual Arch live medium. Commented May 21, 2016 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


I believe the Fn keys are mapped to X86... named keys. Therefore, I'm assuming you have to install the x-server first. As for the brightness issue, ArchWiki has some relevant information, among which is the possible systemd-backlight problem/workaround:

Inverted Brightness (Intel i915 only)


after installing xf86-video-intel systemd-backlight.service turns off the backlight during boot

possible solution: mask systemd-backlight.service switching from X to another VT turns the backlight off the brightness keys are inverted (i.e. turning up the brightness makes the screen darker)

This problem may be solved by adding i915.invert_brightness=1 to the list of kernel parameters.

  • I installed X first. Still the same problem. I was hoping I could copy over some configuration files that Ubuntu uses, so I wouldn't have to bind the keys myself. Commented May 22, 2016 at 21:38

You must log in to answer this question.

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