My numlock key does not work in DSL

Forum: User Feedback
Topic: My numlock key does not work in DSL
started by: Genecks

Posted by Genecks on Dec. 31 2007,15:27
When I boot the computer, I am able to turn the numlock key on and off; I can see the light turn on and off.

However, after booting into the most recent, current Damn Small Linux, I am unable to use my numlock key. I don't know why, though. I really was hoping I could use it.

I tried looking around a little, but I can't do much without a mouse. I was hoping I could use ctrl+shift+numlock to access a keyboard mouse. I do know that tty1 after using ctrl+alt+1 says

** WARNING **: no support enc

Other than that, I don't know how to get the numlock key to lightup and work.

A second thought:

Does DSL allow me to use a keyboard mouse?

Posted by humpty on Dec. 31 2007,23:37
what's wrong with a normal mouse ?
Posted by Genecks on Jan. 02 2008,08:29
I'm using DSL 4.2.2, but I don't think the release version is of any large relevance.

First, I'll answer your question.
Secondly, I hope we can discuss this topic.


Secondly, I see an option here, though. And I've been researching this issue. It seems like others are having this problem. The discussed, "Oh, just change your BIOS," discussion is not working for many people.

I noticed numlockx exists, so I'll try finding out if that can be implemented into DSL. Other than that, I find it odd that the numlock does not work in a distro such as DSL.

I also noticed that accessx is not implemented into DSL, but it is implemented inside of Feather Linux (which is a remaster of DSL). Regardless, however, the numlock does not work in either version.

If I go into the tty, it works.

Why, though? I don't get it. What about the kernel and distro doesn't allow it? Does it have something more to do with xfree86?

I found more information that may be relevant in the puppy linux forum:

< >

I also found this:
<;r=1 >

From the looks of it, it seems like this is a complete xserver problem at best. Of course, it would be, though, in simplistic view. But it looks like a remodeling of the entire xsystem has been required in order to manipulate thing. I suspect the DSL developer would know more about this, and I never really got into the whole XFree86 scene; so, my knowledge is limited.

Posted by curaga on Jan. 02 2008,10:44
Well, DSL doesn't include full Xfree86, but only tinyX, or Kdrive if you prefer.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 02 2008,16:11
There's not a problem with DSL or with X. The version of X used in DSL doesn't light up the numlock key. It works in console -- as it should because X settings DON'T apply to the console. As I told you before, alternate number pad strokes in a console between pressing the numlock button and you'll see it's functional whether the light is on or not.

FYI, Feather is a remaster of Knoppix, not DSL. Like DSL, Feather uses tinyX instead of full Xfree86. Dittos, iirc, for older versions of puppy.

If you can't live without a particular light on your keyboard, download and configure the Xfree86 extension. That's a lot of work to get one little light to work when the key you want to use is functional whether you have the light lit up or not. Geez.

Posted by Genecks on Jan. 02 2008,16:13
I see. The problem must be with Kdrive. I don't understand why the project says it's using XFree86, then. And, I think I understand why installing the xfree86.dsl with accessx.dsl helped fix some errors; it probably installs a full enough xfree86 for control.

With an updated Debian Sarge, it can allow a 4.3.0 XFree86. And the MyDSLs allow a 4.3.0 XFree86. I see the relationship.

Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 02 2008,16:16
Geez... they're not errors. It's one little light, but the bleeping numlock still works.
Posted by Genecks on Jan. 02 2008,16:38
In my boxes, I can't get the full functionality of the numlock.

I mean, well, xev is noticing the press of numlock. However, none of the effects of numlock are taking place. If numlock is off, then the numpad 4 is suppose to go left. For instance, I opened ted, and I kept getting a 4 instead of the cursor moving to the left.

Something is wrong. Oh, excuse me, functionalism doesn't apply to this community. I feel, uh (acts like Jeff Goldblum), an axiological issue of negativity has partaken, thee uhh, digital circuitry within this amazingly programmed operating system. I, uh, well if you would consider with me, don't think thee numberpad is functioning as its suppose to. Thus, the operating system was not well developed for various computers, or perhaps something, if you don't mind my enthymatic character, something is wrong.

Now, if I may, I have done some tests with the console and the various GUI projects that are symbiotic to the OS. However, I think the numlock doesn't live too well with the GUI environment. It has been unable to move to the left when pushing "4." However, inside of a console environment, it is enriched with nutrients and able to move the text cursor to the left. This has made me consider that perhaps the numlock works within the sense that xev reads it. Yet xev is a console application. This is not to say that it works well within the kdrive environment.

Posted by curaga on Jan. 02 2008,16:59
xev is a console app? Try running it in console then.. It's not.
Posted by Genecks on Jan. 02 2008,17:05
Well, if I am mistaken, then I am mistaken. But I do know that opening a shell allows the usage of numlock. Programs, such as nano, allow me to move the cursor to the left. However, things, such as ted, did not allow me to do such a thing. It appears that anything beyond the shell does not seem to allow the full usage of numlock's properties. I researched this by looking through the kdrive/tinyx mailing list. It seems very apparent something is wrong with kdrive, so I'll let my views stand there.
Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 02 2008,17:25
Well, if I am mistaken, then I am mistaken.

Yep. QED.

Opening a terminal emulator *isn't* X-oriented -- it takes you back to console-level computing. How many times do I have to repeat that? That's why it works in aterm (and console apps) but not in the X/GTK/etc. applications. There's nothing wrong with it, per se. It's functioning as it should whether it lights up or not! AGAIN, if you need more function then you need to install full X.

Posted by Genecks on Jan. 02 2008,17:42

I said it was working in console/terminal/shell, and it wasn't in GUI. I know very well it wasn't working in an x-oriented way. I've compiled XFree86 before. I understand the concept of non-X.

Posted by john.martzouco on Jan. 02 2008,17:51
I find the issue of the NumLock light not coming on very disturbing.

I hadn't tried any NumLock activities with the laptop before this thread, but now that I did, it's very disorienting.  Not only does the light stay unlit, but the keyboard response is different from what I know in Windows and I'm very confused.

Can the NumLock light bug be fixed at the system level?

What is the expected behavior in aterm, NumLock on and NumLock off?  I get something like the following:

Code Sample

|  DSL      |        |             |
|  NumLock  |  key   |  result     |
|  OFF      |  J     |  j          |
|  OFF      |  Fn/J  |  <nothing>  |
|  ON       |  J     |  j          | <-- differs
|  ON       |  Fn/J  |        1    | <-- differs

|  Windows  |        |             |
|  NumLock  |  key   |  result     |
|  OFF      |  J     |  j          |
|  OFF      |  Fn/J  |  <nothing>  |
|  ON       |  J     |        1    | <-- differs
|  ON       |  Fn/J  |  j          | <-- differs

Please note, I may have the DSL values reversed.  Is there any other way to tell if NumLock has been activated?

Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on Jan. 02 2008,19:01
iirc, the numlock works, it is just the led on some systems that does not get lit.  Maybe it's due to your special keyboard that it doesn't work as expected... but I'm not sure what you mean by "opening a shell"

It is probably just a bug in the tiny x server that you are using as the full x server does not exhibit this problem.
Maybe try a different one? or newer one?
I'd also like to clarify that those are still part of XFree86 (if you are compiling it, you have to explicitly specify it)

In addition, I'd like to remind everyone to please stop posting negative remarks.

Posted by roberts on Jan. 02 2008,20:02
There is a reason it is called Tiny X.

The one in DSL is from XFree86 4.3.
Even the newer one available in the reposittory from XFree86 4.6 has the same behavior.

It is not a DSL issue.

If this is "disturbing" then use the extension that provides the full XFree or Xorg server.

Posted by john.martzouco on Jan. 02 2008,20:24
Thanks Robert,

It's nice to know there's an alternative, but the instructions look overwhelming and I'm not going to install the XFree86 at this time.

It'd be nice to have a Known Issues page on the forum or Wiki.  It looks like many of you were already aware of the NumLock issue.

Posted by jpeters on Jan. 02 2008,21:05
Quote (john.martzouco @ Jan. 02 2008,15:24)
Thanks Robert,

It's nice to know there's an alternative, but the instructions look overwhelming and I'm not going to install the XFree86 at this time.

It'd be nice to have a Known Issues page on the forum or Wiki.  It looks like many of you were already aware of the NumLock issue.

Yes, but the NumNuts issues still remain unresolved (sorry..couldn't resist)

Posted by roberts on Jan. 02 2008,22:02
I repeat it is not a kown issue with DSL.

I am expected to host every known issue with each projects software used in DSL? That would be a daunting task. I am sure not every nuance has even been discovered.

I don't mind if a question is raised or if a bug is found and reported. When I have control over such, and can reproduce it, I will fix it.

But when there is such bold proclaims made with no semblance of humility it does bode well for anyone nor makes one even willing to respond.

Posted by john.martzouco on Jan. 02 2008,22:39
For me, a neophite Linux user, DSL is the sum of all of its parts.

I don't expect anyone to take on the burden of fixing everything that comes up, but I know it's in the project's best interest to inform its audience about all known issues.

I've started up a ... removed ....

Posted by jpeters on Jan. 02 2008,23:33
Quote (john.martzouco @ Jan. 02 2008,17:39)
I've started up a ...deleted... ]. big, bold're kidding, right? Nice way to discourage anybody from developing DSL.  I'm waiting for someone to complain about their SATA drive

Posted by roberts on Jan. 03 2008,00:22
Would you expect Microsoft to post known issues about Adobe products, or Firefox issues.


While using Microsoft isn't that
is the sum of all of its parts

Give me a break.

Things like this make me want to walk away from such a thankless group.

DSL should not be given negatives, if you could even call it that, that belong to their respective projects.

TinyX <> Full X

If you have, what you think, is an issue, take it up with the respective responsbile party.

Stop being to damn negative.

This is too much B.S.

Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 03 2008,02:38
Oh good bleeping grief. Messing all over yourself over whether a light comes on even though the key functions?! If you're so disturbed by a certain light not coming on (even though the button functions properly otherwise) *and* too overwhelmed to install an extension to "fix" it when it disturbs you so much, maybe you shouldn't be the one adding pages about "known issues" to the wiki -- maybe leave it to those who feel more comfortable and level-headed about such things.

I don't believe this. And it's not even a full moon!

Posted by jpeters on Jan. 03 2008,05:26
Quote (lucky13 @ Jan. 02 2008,21:38)
I don't believe this. And it's not even a full moon!

I'm  beginning to think these guys are on the MS payrole, and after laborous research, this is the best they could come up with.... :)

Posted by john.martzouco on Jan. 03 2008,14:38
Quote (roberts @ Jan. 02 2008,19:22)
Would you expect Microsoft to post known issues about Adobe products, or Firefox issues.

My direct answer to your question is, No.

But we both know that Microsoft does not ship or rely on those products.  If they did, my answer to you would be completely different.

DSL ships and relies on the product that is at fault here.  DSL is built on many other products and as such, has an obligation to its user base to divulge any known issues related to those products.  Because DSL's core is (emphatically) the sum of its pieces.

If my laptop had been destroyed when ACPI didn't function under DSL, I should expect that you'd feel some remorse.  As a result of that experience, I should expect that the community would make their best efforts to advise all other users and prospects to pay attention to the cooling fans on their machines.  This would be a reasonably professional response.

DSL presents a public image of being a dependable operating system - it needs to live up to that... by publicly showcasing both its strong points and its included faults.

Things like this make me want to walk away from such a thankless group.

It saddens me that you have so little tolerance for any constructive criticism.  DSL is not perfect, but it's very Damn Good.

I've thanked you and the other members of this community many, many times and am still very fond of this product.

Posted by roberts on Jan. 03 2008,15:08
Constructive crictism? What kind of logic is that when it is not under my control. That is not my work. It belongs to another project.. Good god, I don't claim to have written everything. Do you know what FSF is all about?

Is your logic to document what you are missing by using a 48MB distro?

Lets post eveything that does not work like a 600MB distro.

Instead of celebrating small lets try to find everything that it does not provide what Windows can do, or any larger distro can do.

You seem to know it all.

Lets document what is missing in murgaLua. Lets document why tinyC cannot be a replacment for gcc. Why can't read Ted handle every rtf from my Microsoft products? What about the excel viewer? Lets document the features that FLTK does not provide over GTK2. Also you need to add the differences from GTK1 and GTK2. Afterall, the other distros have GTK2. These are known limitiations of DSL. Afterall DSL is the sum of its parts. DSL needs to be accountable for every known issue or evey project that DSL includes.

Or perhaps, it is not even an issue, but by design, because being dramatically smaler, means having less (features). Is that so hard to understand?  But, you, have already determined that for that project it is even a known issue. You are the determinator of all. Amazing!

Posted by JohnJS on Jan. 03 2008,16:32
DSL must be getting very popular.
As with anything that becomes widely available, the nitpickers appear and  common sense vanishes. Have you ridden a bus lately?.
Keep up the good work 'roberts' et al. There are a lot of us who appreciate and value DSL.

Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 03 2008,16:35
If my laptop had been destroyed...

It wasn't! There's a huge difference between daemons like ACPI/APM and a flaky light that doesn't come on when the key is functioning properly because of a feature-reduced version of X. I think you've already blown that issue way out of proportion, as evidenced by a bold-lettered wiki entry for something that doesn't even relate to function and then objecting to "fixing" it on your own systems when it's suggested you just install full X.

That's not my definition of constructive criticism. It's the opposite.

Posted by roberts on Jan. 03 2008,17:13
Quote (JohnJS @ Jan. 03 2008,08:32)
DSL must be getting very popular.
....  the nitpickers appear and  common sense vanishes...

Agreed. Lets complain about the change log, about a light that does not come on.
About expecting 100% mouseless operation in a 100% graphical environment of 48MB.

Major deficiencies? Oh well. There are many other choices for those who think so.

Can't please everyone.

Thanks for the encouragement and support  it is welcomed always but especially at times like this.

Posted by Jason W on Jan. 03 2008,19:04
by JohnJS:
Keep up the good work 'roberts' et al. There are a lot of us who appreciate and value DSL.


Posted by jpeters on Jan. 03 2008,20:07
I'm completely ignorant about the legal/ethical issues around Wiki documents.  Can anybody post official looking documents and write anything they please?  That seems to be the present case, and there's no disclaimer or name of the author on it that I can see.
The doc in question states:

"A list of unexpected behaviors with the latest versions of Damn Small Linux"

There seems to be considerable disagreement regarding what is "expected behavior" between the author ( a newbee) and the developer, and yet he completely disregards feedback and just upped the ante with another listing  

In any other sphere, this would be grounds for libel, in that it could potentially discourage potential users from trying out DSL and be damaging to the reputation of DSL.   Any lawyers on the board?

Posted by lucky13 on Jan. 03 2008,20:14
Please, please, *please*. Let's leave lawyers out of this. It's already gotten out of hand. :-)
Posted by jpeters on Jan. 03 2008,20:22
I'm not threatening; I'd like to know what the legal/ethical standards are. Perhaps the posting needs a disclaimer, or different wording. If someone disregards ethical/legal standards, it's their choice if they want to subject themselves to damages.
Posted by roberts on Jan. 03 2008,21:37
I have had enough. The arrogrance of a newbie to Linux, to DSL, to disrepect the developer and the community. To have just joined and think that they know it all. Enough is enough.

The Wiki is not to be used as a personal blog or opinion space.

It is unfortunate the the actions of one has impacted many.

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