I have a Toshiba Satellite P755 laptop. I just bought a new keyboard intended for a different model, but of the same physical size and therefore likely compatible, for it.

The new keyboard's connector is identical, as well the layout and indeed the keys themselves are nearly all identical save for a backlight and the associated wire, which was not present on the original.

I took the old keyboard out of my laptop and installed the new one. xinput detects the new keyboard just fine:

$ xinput
⎡ Virtual core pointer                      id=2    [master pointer  (3)]
⎜   ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer                id=4    [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ HID 04d9:1400                             id=11   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad                id=13   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech K400                             id=15   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎜   ↳ Logitech M510                             id=16   [slave  pointer  (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard                     id=3    [master keyboard (2)]
    ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard               id=5    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=6    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Video Bus                                 id=7    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Power Button                              id=8    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ USB 2.0 Camera                            id=9    [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ HID 04d9:1400                             id=10   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard              id=12   [slave  keyboard (3)]
    ↳ Toshiba input device                      id=14   [slave  keyboard (3)] !!!

but it does not work in the BIOS / at boot, in my Ubuntu installation (which was configured for the old keyboard), nor in an Ubuntu Live CD (which are notorious for having every driver for everything ever).

Interestingly, in both my Ubuntu install and the Live CD, the only keys which work are these:

$ xev | grep -A2 --line-buffered '^KeyRelease' | sed -n '/keycode /s/^.*keycode \([0-9]*\).* (.*, \(.*\)).*$/\1 \2/p'
21 equal
22 BackSpace
106 KP_Divide
63 KP_Multiply
82 KP_Subtract
79 KP_Home
80 KP_Up
81 KP_Prior
83 KP_Left
84 KP_Begin
85 KP_Right
87 KP_End
89 KP_Next
91 KP_Delete
104 KP_Enter
27 r
35 bracketright
41 f
48 apostrophe
36 Return
55 v
37 Control_L
133 Super_L
105 Control_R

This is good news, and I think the problem is software related, not hardware.

How can I find a driver for it, or configure / troubleshoot it manually?

  • Probably better to query with the vendor/manufacturer whether hardware is really compatible or not; Check the product datasheet, if any? There seem to be very less keys that worked with the newer one. Anyway, +1 for xev troubleshooting method. – clearkimura Oct 29 '16 at 11:33
  • @clearkimura You're funny for thinking Toshiba care about Linux, or release datasheets ;) – cat Oct 29 '16 at 12:24
  • 1
    I don't think so; I mean new keyboard against the laptop model; Product datasheet to check if the new keyboard requires to "activate" before able to configure with software (BIOS/Linux). I read that some keyboards need to follow steps to "activate" by pressing few keys on boot. I could be wrong, though. – clearkimura Oct 29 '16 at 16:48
  • 1
    The keyboard is likely not pin compatible to the original. You could attach a standard USB keyboard to it and still use it to some degree until you obtain the correct keyboard. – Elder Geek Nov 2 '16 at 1:28

It seems to me a hardware issue because there is a pattern in those working keys, this is compared to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/us layout (may be you are using other layout)

   .. 04 .. 11         12
AE                     equal
AD    r                bracketright
AC    f     apostrophe
AB    v

As you see those letters are from same column, KP_* are from same block and same thing for control keys.

  • May be the connector is misaligned
  • Or they don't have same pins map (not same order for rows and columns in the connection).
  • 2
    I would tend to agree with this assessment. Size is no indication of compatibility. +1 for the misalignment and pinout points. – Elder Geek Nov 2 '16 at 1:26

Have you tried to update ur system and usb ids?

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

Maybe this will help.

  • Updating USB ID's will have no effect because it's a built-in laptop keyboard, not a USB keyboard. Additionally updating USB ID's does nothing except in rare circumstances replace a blank device name with the manufacturer and model names. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Oct 30 '16 at 17:43

The proper keyboard can be purchased brand new for under $20 on ebay: (ebay.com Toshiba Satellite P755 laptop keyboard).

Although it's disappointing when you can't make something worth $20 work, using the right hardware certified for your machine is the best solution.

If you purchased the keyboard from a reputable retailer and it's not scratched and you have the original packaging contact them for an exchange. If not you can still sell it on ebay as a used backlit keyboard at half the new price.

Hopefully someone posts a patch that allows you to use the wrong keyboard in your machine but if not, this answer will have to suffice.

Edit based on OP comments

When my Toshiba Satellite L300 Celeron Dual Core T5750 circa 2007 keyboard lost many of it's white painted letters (notably "N" and "O") and developed divots in some keys I ordered a replacement from China for 12 bucks. I could have got one from the states for 20 bucks but shipping was another 15 plus import fees.

The actual keyboard was NOT the oem Toshiba but rather a generic from a Chinese manufacturer that makes millions of clones. The keyboard had a nice typing feel but nothing like an IBM PS/2 with tactile feedback. Indeed you can't even hear any key clicking sounds.

I'm not sure why this answer is getting down-voted because it is good advise based on real life experience. After the next down vote this answer is going to go poof.

  • No, this is the same exact keyboard I already have. Why would I buy another? It is like typing on rocks, the new one is not. It is not backlit, the new one is. I know, I'm a moron for buying the "wrong" keyboard, but I already have the old one and I don't like it. – cat Oct 30 '16 at 18:40
  • You don't like all non-backlit keyboards for your laptop but perhaps the old one you had was defective or degraded over time? Did you have your laptop from brand new and the keys were "like a rock" from day one? – WinEunuuchs2Unix Oct 30 '16 at 18:46
  • The motherboard has a port for the keyboard's backlight wire, which the new keyboard has but the old does not -- the old was never backlit. I bought it new and the keys were always annoying to type on. It has not degraded, indeed I applaud its durability. – cat Oct 30 '16 at 18:49
  • @cat I've updated the answer based on your comments and deleted my last comment which has been rolled up into the answer. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Oct 30 '16 at 21:30

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