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I'd like to register keypresses that aren't visible on xev. These are basically "special" keys on my keyboard. If the event does show up on xev, is it possible to get at?

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It's likely that those keys are not supported by, for example, your acpi driver. –  Jamie Kitson Sep 15 '12 at 22:14
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Sure. X windows has to send the key press to xev but for various reasons X might send it to something else first, so xev won't show the key press and release events.

Consider the brightness or multimedia keys. The key presses aren't shown in xev, but if your X windows environment is set up correctly, you can adjust brightness and so forth.

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xev does report those keys if they're working, try it. –  Jamie Kitson Sep 15 '12 at 22:10
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