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I have just installed Ubuntu on my Dell Inspiron 17R, and the settings buttons used to turn off the display or access settings do not work in Ubuntu while they did work in Windows. Do I need a driver?

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I think you can set the one for the settings. Go to settings... keyboard. Chose the shortcuts pane. at the most bottom categorie you can add shortkeys. Add on with the command gnome-control-center and assign the settings key to it

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