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While running (or more specifically loading ubuntu 16.04) ubuntu sets my keyboard backlight to off (brightness, not on/off, but lowest possible brightness). I setup Windows 7 (since it actually has driver support from dell), and was able to crank back up the brightness. When rebooting into linux, keyboard backlighting goes away again. This has not occurred in Debian Testing (Stretch) nor Linux Mint 17.3 (14.04 based). Additionally I do not recall the issue occurring in Gnome-Ubuntu 15.10 or 14.04.

Random googling brought me to "xset led 3" but I am pretty sure that did nothing :D

Thanks, Jason

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  • so I have followed some other guides, for other laptops and located this directory: '/sys/class/leds/dell::kbd_backlight' inside there is a brightness and a max_brightness file. cat brightness shows 0, cat max_brightness shows 10, 'echo 10 | sudo tee /sys/class/leds/dell::kbd_backlight' does nothing.... Apr 23 '16 at 22:04
  • Still no luck. I went through all 1-32 xset led options. Ultimately, I could toggle my scroll-lock indicator, but not adjust the brightness level of my backlit keyboard. Due to hardware similarities, I am pretty sure a solution for the e6400/e6410 latitude will also work for the Precision M4500. I have not had any luck finding any solutions as of yet.... Apr 25 '16 at 12:08
  • Located this: appears the keyboard backlight needs to be accessed via Dell's smbios api, and they have kernel patches in place. Still reading though it to get a better feel for the source.link Apr 25 '16 at 23:34
  • It appears the Dell created code actually configures the keyboard for initial setup using the above sys/class/led/dell::kbd_backlight/ files. Still unsure where to go, as echo is not doing anything. Apr 26 '16 at 2:12
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It appears there was something wrong with the installation. I reinstalled 14.04, and the keyboard lights worked, then reinstalled 16.04 and the still functioned. All's well that ends well I suppose.

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