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Add "Enable/disable numlock at startup" option to installer and YaST

Feature state

openSUSE Distribution


Related thread: https://features.opensuse.org/310152

Some people who don't have a QWERTY layout can't use the numbers on the top of the keyboard. I'm an
AZERTY user so I have to hold Shift to use the numbers on top of the keyboard. Therefore I usually prefer using the numpad, but that isn't possible if the numlock is switched off. Auto-enabling numlock at startup would be a huge time-saver.

Some people on the other hand prefer having numlock switched off. Quoting Ned Ulbricht: "Enabling NumLock at boot would be very annoying on ThinkPads (and possibly other laptops) that overlay the numeric keypad on top of the alphabetic keys."

I think the best way to resolve this little annoyance is to offer the user a choice during install as to what the default setting should be.

Or even better: if it's possible to auto-detect which numlock setting is most desirable depending on the keyboard, the user doesn't even need to be presented this option.

Additionally, I'd like to see this option added to the "System Keyboard Layout" applet in YaST.

User benefit:

This satisfies people who need to disable numlock for their keyboard to work properly and people who prefer using the numpad.


icons/user_comment.png F. M. wrote: (2 years ago)

The right thing to do, which seems to be impossible to get the kernel devs to do, is to get them to make the kernel read the NUM state in the BIOS, and preserve it for presentment to gettys and X as initial state, from which point it would be up to each session to preserve or change it individually according to user preference.

icons/user_comment.png M. C. wrote: (2 years ago)

This e very easy to do already!
Go to:
Yast > System > /etc/sysconfig Editor > Hardware > Keyboard > KBD_Numlock
Change the value to "Yes"
Reboot your computer

see if it works (i already had mixed results, if it does not work, then we have a bug) ;)

icons/user_comment.png P. D. wrote: (2 years ago)

While I appreciate your advice, this approach is far from user-friendly. Numlock is on by default on Windows (and Ubuntu too?). The most amount of effort I'm willing to put in as a user is check a box at install.

This workaround, on the other hand, asks that I open something that's vaguely reminiscent of the Windows Registry Editor, dig through a bunch of technical stuff and change a boolean value. It's not that I can't do it, it's that it shouldn't be that painful. I do realize that you're probably an experienced openSUSE user and don't find this painful at all, but that's not how new users (especially without a tech background) see it. And even for intermediate users it may not be the most intuitive way to enable numlock at boot.

The phrase "It just works" doesn't apply here in my humble opinion. I hope that you can see where I'm coming from.

Last change: 2 years ago
Score: 11
  • Negative: 0
  • Neutral: 2
  • Positive: 11

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