Monday, October 27, 2008

Acer Hotkeys in Ubuntu

Recently, I decided I would try and see if I could get my ACER hotkeys working under Ubuntu. These control the special function buttons (wireless, bluetooth,e mail, web, P1, P2) as well as the function keys such as the volume and screen brightness control.

First I downloaded and installed:

I did an lsmod > txt file before and after installation and performed a difference on the two to see if the linux module was indeed changed. The module had certainly been modified. An lsmod | grep Acer returned the following:

monica@Tzedakah:~$ lsmod | grep acer
acerhk 26036 0
wmi_acer 9644 0

I then edited the /etc/modules and added "acerhk" to the top of the list, so the module will boot at startup.

I restarted my system and voila: nothing. I decided not to mess with it for a while and went about other business.

A few days later I tried controlling volume using the function keys out of habit, forgetting they would not work. But it did work! Complete with a little image that popped up showing the volume bar. I could not believe it! The only thing I could figure is that a day or so before I had updated my system to the latest Linux kernel: 2.6.24-21.

So all of my "Fn" keys seem to work and some of my special softkeys work too, albeit not exactly in the correct way. For example, my mail button does nothing, but press the web button and Eudora (the mail client) opens. Another interesting one is that if I press the bluetooth button, my screen locks and asks for my passowrd. The screen rotations buttons also do not work. Once I have time, I will have to tackle this issue. In the meantime, I am happy to be able to control volume using the keyboard again.


  1. hi
    the download link you have posted is down. could you please give me a hint where i can find this prog?
    thank you!

  2. Hi,
    Try this link:
    There is also an Ubuntu site hosting the driver here:

    I just Googled acerhk ubuntu, and a bunch of links came up, so if these do not work, I would just try that and go through the list.