Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

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

Hi An old but good Laptop has a problem with the keyboard. The "w" key has stopped working. I have dismantled the key but it doesnt want to know. I am entering the w from a usb keyboard here.. As Its only 1 key I thought to see if I can put the W on another key like the windows key or somewhere. Any Ideas and how to do it? Thanks

share|improve this question

You can use xmodmap (I know it's a very basic-looking page but all the information is there) to reallocate keys.

Personally, I'd look at getting a replacement keyboard:

  • Ebay
  • 2nd hand shops
  • Computer disposal companies
  • The original manufacturer

Ebay and 2nd hand shops are more likely to sell you working models but plenty of "for parts" sales happen on Ebay, very cheaply. There is the possibility you'll end up with another broken keyboard though.

Computer disposal firms might be able to help you out too. They tend to deal with thousands of laptops so might not want to help, but they're probably your best bet because of the volume they deal with.

And finally, it might be worth having a word with the people who made the laptop. Companies do hoard spare parts for service needs so unless it's really very old, they might have a shiny new keyboard. They won't let you have it cheaply though.

share|improve this answer
thanks its an old but good core duo laptop so not practical to repair. I looked at xmodmap but my home directory says I am not the owner(dont know why) and need permissions to create xmodmap. after which I have seen how to do it I think..thanks – Antony Dec 29 '11 at 13:06

Your Answer


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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.