My Fn key is permanently activated/pressed, although it is deactivated in the BIOS. In Ubuntu pressing the FN+ESC keys doesn't do anything. Numlock is deactivated in the BIOS, so it can't interfere with the Fn key.

I only want the FN functions upon pressing the FN key, hence any idea how to achieve this?

My machine is a Dell 9560 - latest UK version.

Ubuntu 16.04, latest standard updates, Kernel

1 Answer 1


I have managed to solve the problem. In Dell's boot options under 'POST Behaviour' --> 'Fn Lock Option' keep the check mark for 'Fn Lock' and below select 'Lock Mode Enable/Secondary'.

It seems wrong to select this because 'Lock Mode Enable/Secondary' is defined as:

The F1-F12 keys control the secondary functions. Fn is required to access the standard functions.

However, exactly the opposite is the case when selecting this option. F1-F12 work as function keys and only when Fn is pressed the secondary functions, e.g. volume down/up, brightness down/up, are triggered.

I found this solution on http://vetruvet.blogspot.de.

  • 1
    I use an apple wired keyboard, and it does not copy that bios setting; There is a linux kernel module that interacts with the settings of that keyboard: wiki.archlinux.org/title/… It is handy to set those defaults in the kernel commandline in grub, so your keyboard works fine immediately after booting.
    – Kai
    Jan 28 at 11:26

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