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I cant relogon to my laptop because no keyboard, mouse or touchpad input is being accepted at logon. For keyboard this includes laptop keyboard, external USB keyboard and virtual onscreen keyboard, the latter not being accessible because tab, enter key, mouse and touchpad movements/input do not work to select onscreen numbers and letters.

Specs: Ubuntu 18.04 Full USB installation that has been working for ~ 2 months HP EliteBook Laptop;

  1. I am not a complete Unix, Ubuntu newbie at all but have come back to it recently after 2 years away so general debug or recovery mode advice would be appreciated.

  2. I don't think it's a hardware or BIOS issue because I'm typing this question on the same laptop using Ubuntu on another USB key. So the USB stick I'm using now has the same hardware and BIOS settings as the problematic installation on the other USB stick. The other stick is a full installation that has all my settings, customizations and data for two months on the USB.

  3. I suspect changes I made yesterday to fix a brightness issue is causing the current issue. I do not recall all the steps but I'll describe in general what I did to successfully fix the issue of the brightness not being adjustable on the full USB installation.

    a. installed brightness-controller, brightness-controller-simple and xbacklight. (Not sure if package names are exact.)

    b. xbacklight installation in particular had some dependencies that required installing additional packages which I don't have the names of right now (hoping to research to find the pages of instructions I followed, but even that won't be complete because I installed some things that weren't in the instructions based on messages I received on dependencies when doing the install). Edit: these are packages I installed sudo apt install xbacklight xorg xserver-xorg-video-intel. The last package had dependencies requiring additional installs.

    c. I had made the following grub change and updated grub about a week ago and have rebooted many times since. It didn't fix the brightness issue then but this change is part of xbacklight install instructions I followed. Since the change had already been made to grub a week ago I did not run grub update again yesterday:

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_backlight=vendor"

    d. Edit: I created and added following to /etc/X11/xorg.conf as part of xbacklight install:

Section "Device" Identifier "Device0" Driver "intel" Option "Backlight" "intel_backlight" EndSection

Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor0" EndSection

Section "Screen" Identifier "Screen0" Monitor "Monitor0" Device "Device0" EndSection

Any help or leads are very much appreciated.

Edit: I have rolled back installs related to fixing a brightness issue, updated the system so that sudo apt-get update has nothing to install and the problem still exists.

uninstalled: xbacklight, xorg, xserver-xorg-video-intel, brightness-controller-simple, brightness-controller

  • I would try deleting the xorg.conf file as a first attempt. I had a similar issue once with a badly formatted xorg.conf file. – To Do Apr 16 at 7:30
  • on version, I installed 18.04. When I get the recovery mode options I see options listed to start up 18.15, 18.16 and 18.17 so I thought those were new version numbers after updates but definitely installed 18.04 two months ago. – ronbo4610 Apr 16 at 8:22
  • I will try deleting that file. It was one of the last things I did yesterday. – ronbo4610 Apr 16 at 8:25
  • one of the last thing I addeed yesterday – ronbo4610 Apr 16 at 8:40
  • Okay, corrected version to 18.04. Was confused by way version is listed on recovery screen as 4.18.0-16. In my mind I dropped the "4". – ronbo4610 Apr 16 at 9:08
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Problem resolved by installing package xserver-xorg-input-all-hwe-18.04:

  sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-all-hwe-18.04

Notes on the process I took for anyone who this may help in the future:

  1. I was able to identify the need for xserver-xorg-input-all-hwe-18.04 because I had the second USB with USB Live installed on it. When I booted up with this second USB the keyboard mouse and all inputs worked so I could list the input packages it was using from the command line.

  2. I could not find much recent on the web re this exact issue that had answers, mostly only stuff 4, 6, 8 years old. But I did find a couple references to install the xserver-xorg-input-all package. I was planning to try that but when I decided to grep the working USB stick installed packages for "input" I saw the exact package I decided to install.

  3. These dependent packages were also installed by installing xserver-xorg-input-all-hwe-18.04: xserver-xorg-input-libinput-hwe-18.04 xserver-xorg-input-wacom-hwe-18.04

  4. So having the working Ubuntu Live spare USB stick was great because it pointed me to the packages I needed and it was the way I researched the problem (I'm travelling and just have the laptop and a cracked phone which is difficult to enter characters or click buttons where the cracks are so I have to keep rotating the phone to enter a word)

  5. I had never used the recovery options on Ubuntu or any Linux based system so it took me some time to work through those. Initially for a long time I couldn't get a network connection while in recovery mode but it started working without me making any change I'm aware of to get it to work. Eventually this allowed me to update the whole system via the internet from the recovery command line.

  6. Brightness control works and I did not have to reinstall anything I had deinstalled during the attempts to fix my input problems. It could be because of the system update. Anyways it seems like something related to the attempted brightness issue fix deinstalled the driver I had to reinstall for the input fix. Perhaps it was something in the below step I had taken for the brightness issue, though rolling these installs back by themselves did not fix the keyboard input problem:

    apt-get install xbacklight xorg xserver-xorg-video-intel

Best of luck to anyone who ever reads this!!!

  • Thanks, it seems to fixed my problem ! +1 – Jim Apr 18 at 14:18

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