Getting volume buttons to work on T61

Cheryl Homiak cahomiak at
Wed Apr 20 20:39:27 UTC 2011

I just thought I'd post this here in case somebody has some experience with this and has a suggestion; I did post it to debian-laptop but have had no replies.

I just did a new install of debian stable on a thinkpad t61 and then upgraded it to testing. My only real problem with it at the moment is that i can't get the special mute and volume buttons to work; they beep and produce tildes but don't do anything with the sound. I checked in /proc/acpi and for volume I unfortunately see "not supported". I've googled this but most of what I have found has to do with xmodmap and xev. I'm not running X right now on this machine because (1) I tried the install the first time with gnome and my braille display totally stalled at "starting gdm" so I just decided to reinstall and leave it out for now; and (2) I tend to do a lot of my gui stuff on Mac (especially) and Windows (sometimes) so mostly I just play with the gui on linux and don't really need it right now. The right keys do show up in /usr/share/acpi-support/key-constants but I'm assuming the right keycodes aren't being used; at least that's what most of what I've read online suggests. I can of course still use alsamixer or aumix to change the volume but it would be nice to be able to use the buttons. If anybody knows anything about this, your input would be appreciated.


May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to You, Lord,
my rock and my Redeemer.
(Psalm 19:14 HCSB)

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