Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

There is a well-known method on how to make function keys work on Apple keyboards in Ubuntu: echo 2 | sudo tee /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/fnmode However, is there a way to do that with no root? Perhaps through xmodmap or xsession? Thanks!


I've got the desired behavior for a few selected keys using xmodmap (it was a bit annoying as I had to launch a separate X to stop the media key being intercepted by Gnome, but at the end I've got a keycode). So I guess I've found a workaround. A more general solution would be very welcome, of course.

share|improve this question… ? – Wilf Jan 13 '14 at 13:17
@wilf I'm not sure what do you mean, all the ways there assume that the person has root access. – cheshire Jan 13 '14 at 14:01
Once again - no, I do not have root access (the machine is administered by the institution). – cheshire Jan 13 '14 at 15:49
Then how can you run echo 2 | ...? :-s You'll have to try keyboard settings then, as quite alot of ways of sorting this out require the use of su.. commands. – Wilf Jan 13 '14 at 16:03
I can't run echo 2, this is precisely my problem – cheshire Jan 13 '14 at 16:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.