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I have the problem with with Mute and VolumeDown keys in Ubuntu 14.04 on my Thinkpad X61. These two keys just stopped working after relogin.

I tried to run gsettings reset-recursively org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys for my user, but this did nothing.

Keys are hardware OK (I can see them pressed by xev and also can use them as hotkeys in Audacious, also they work correctly for the Guest session). But system wide I can raise but not lower volume using keys. In Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts Ubuntu can delete and set up these keys again, so the system does see them. They just do nothing for some reason.

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Was resolved by restarting Unity (unity command in Alt+F2 dash). Which is strange as neither relogin, nor shutdown and start of the laptop resolved the issue.

If somebody can explain this, please do! I still need the correct way of resolving the issue.

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