Is there a way to turn NUM LOCK on permanently, across all remote desktop sessions (99% Windows OS) and my local install of Ubuntu 14.04? I have never met anyone in the past 25 years of computing who actually uses a 10-key keypad with NUM LOCK off.

All day I'm hitting the Num Lock key to turn it ON for a particular Remmina (RDP) session. I connect to the same servers most of the day, and my Remmina settings (settings that never actually SAVE!) are to "Remember last view mode for each connection" but I don't think that setting has anything to do with keyboard stuff, just video and interface settings -- WHO'S SETTINGS DON'T SAVE EITHER! MADDENING!!!!!


  • are you connecting to windows or linux?
    – kamil
    Feb 19 '14 at 17:48
  • Windows mostly. Can't use XRDP (the only RDP program I've found appealing to me) to RDP to Ubuntu 13.10 anymore. There are only a few Ubuntu 12.04 I connect to, and XRDP works fine for that (after adding the fallback gnome 2d xsession of course).
    – 00fruX
    Feb 19 '14 at 17:53
  • your problem is related to only windows machines, try enabling numlock in windows logon startup from registry editor: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/…
    – kamil
    Feb 19 '14 at 18:00
  • I just RDP'd using Remmina to an Ubuntu 12.04 server. Opened terminal and tapped some Num Lock keys, nothing. Pressed Num Lock and I could type numbers in the terminal. Logged off, RDP'd back to same server and Num Lock was not on. I don't think it's just Windows.
    – 00fruX
    Feb 19 '14 at 18:03

The issue with Num Lock key in Remmina can be fixed by installing a newer version from ppa:remmina-ppa-team/remmina-next. This is what I got on Linux Mint 17.1 (based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS):

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:remmina-ppa-team/remmina-next
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ dpkg -l | grep freerdp
ii  freerdp-x11                        1.2.0~git20141201+dfsg1-0trusty1  amd64  RDP client for Windows Terminal Services
ii  libfreerdp-plugins-standard:amd64  1.2.0~git20141201+dfsg1-0trusty1  amd64  RDP client for Windows Terminal Services (plugins)
ii  libfreerdp1:amd64                  1.2.0~git20141201+dfsg1-0trusty1  amd64  RDP client for Windows Terminal Services (library)
ii  libpam-freerdp                     1.0.1+13.10.20130724-0ubuntu1     amd64  PAM Module to auth against an RDP server using FreeRDP
$ dpkg -l | grep remmina
ii  remmina                            1.1.1-1+547+next~ubuntu14.04.1    amd64  remote desktop client for GNOME desktop environment
ii  remmina-common                     1.1.1-1+547+next~ubuntu14.04.1    all    common files for remmina remote desktop client
ii  remmina-plugin-rdp                 1.1.1-1+547+next~ubuntu14.04.1    amd64  RDP plugin for remmina remote desktop client

It seems this build of remmina uses freerdp-x11.

  • I did this, now Remmina is useless. All my connections now say "protocol plugin rdp is not installed". Hoping a purge/reinstall fixes!
    – 00fruX
    Dec 24 '14 at 17:13
  • Ok, got the RDP plugin installed. Now the only "glitch" is Remmina never shows up in the top panel. I have to have the "main window" open all the time. I don't know what's worse. Having to press NUM lock all the time or having to fiddle with just another window open all the time when it doesn't/shouldn't have to be there.
    – 00fruX
    Dec 29 '14 at 17:55

Yes this is possible, with a workaround. First save this script somewhere

while true
sleep 4
numlockx on

then type in crontab -e in the terminal, add this entry to it:

@reboot /path/to/script

It should work, restoring numlock all the time.


  • 5
    Are you kidding? a script and a loop ?
    – kamil
    Feb 19 '14 at 17:41
  • Well that's what the program equivalents in windows does.
    – Amith KK
    Feb 19 '14 at 17:42
  • @AmithKK, not the best with Linux yet. I created a new "empty document" in /home/user/Documents and added your text to it. Then I opened a terminal and typed crontab -e @ reboot /home/user/Documents/NumLockOn but get the following error: crontab: usage error: no arguments permitted after this option
    – 00fruX
    Feb 19 '14 at 17:58
  • No, just type crontab -e and press enter, you're supposed to enter the other line in the document that opens. Also, be sure to make the script executable by right clicking>Permissions>Executable
    – Amith KK
    Feb 19 '14 at 18:01
  • @dan you should put in your terminal crontab -e then press Enter and paste the script there
    – kamil
    Feb 19 '14 at 18:01

Virtualbox with seamless mode accomplishes this PERFECTLY. No longer will I have to RDP to a guest VM on my local desktop. Never again will I have to press the Num Lock key. Still baffled why ON isn't the default for Num Lock. Who actually uses the arrow keys on a 10-key keypad!?!?!


@rpr, one more line of code and your answer would have worked -- maybe you can edit the answer? Here are the three lines of code that worked for me:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:remmina-ppa-team/remmina-next

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install remmina remmina-plugin-rdp

  • And not only does it fix the NUM lock issue, the latest version also fixes the bug where you have to press CTRL+T twice to get an image (the remote desktop) to actually show up as explained in another one of my questions: askubuntu.com/questions/454076/…
    – 00fruX
    Dec 24 '14 at 17:47

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