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For the past several days, I have been slaving to figure out what is wrong with my keyboard. The problem I have been struggling with is that some key combinations just don't register at all. The key combinations in error which I have detected all start with Caps Lock and involve some other key. For instance, "Caps Lock + s" doesn't get picked up — not by window managers (tested with xev), not by the virtual console (tested with showkey). Some other key combinations I have noticed are "Caps Lock + w" and "Caps Lock + x".

This is particularly concerning for me, because I swap my Caps Lock and Control_L keys. Key combinations involving Control_L feature heavily in my Emacs usage. After swapping the keys, the "C-s", "C-w", and "C-x" key combinations which I would like to use in Emacs simply don't work. However, before swapping Caps Lock and Control_L, they key combinations get picked up as expected. In other words, key combinations using the Control_L key in its original position at the bottom-left of the keyboard work fine. Based on this, it seems clear to me now that the problem lies in the physical keys themselves.

So, I was wondering if anybody has experienced anything like this. I'm quite new to Linux and can't be sure whether this is unheard of or not. Could reinstalling the operating system or installing a different distro work? Might there be anything short of acquiring a new keyboard that could fix this issue?

Operating System: Arch Linux

Keyboard Layout: Dvorak

I'm using an old Dell Vostro laptop. I would cite the keyboard device details, except I can't find them. I don't see any information about it in the output of lspci, but presumably its device file is found at /dev/input/by-path/platform-i8042-serio-0-event-kbd.

Edit: I'm aware Caps Lock is not a modifier key. What I meant is that, in using either xev or showkey, when I first press and hold the Caps Lock key, a key press event will be registered. Without releasing Caps Lock, if I then press and release the "s", "w", or "x" keys, no events are registered. Other keys besides those will be registered however. Interestingly, if I press, for example, the "s" key first, and then press Caps Lock, it will work, but not the other way around.

  • caps lock is not a modifier key – jsotola Jul 16 at 2:01

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