Poor keyboard support: Macbook Belgian Azerty

Bug #290473 reported by sander on 2008-10-28
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Ubuntu 8.10 RC has several issues related to the keyboard of my Macbook. It is the Belgian Azerty version of the Macbook. Several keys do not work, several keys are not available, and the behaviour of several keys does not match Mac OS X (which really would help usability in my dual boot setup).

In the attachment you can find a photo of the keyboard. I guess it will help people to solve this bug.

The most irritating issues:
* It is not possible to type the @ and #
* The same is true for the pipe character: |
* The eject button for the DVD drive does not work
* Several interesting key related shortcuts do not work
* See below for more things that do not work

In the next sections I will go from left to right, and top to bottom on my keyboard (see screenshot) and I will compare differences between Mac OS X and Ubuntu.

==Pressing only 1 key==
* Mac OS X:
* Ubuntu:

==Pressing shift and key==
* Mac OS X:
* Ubuntu:

==Pressing alt and key==
* Mac OS X:
•ë“‘{¶«¡Çø}— <--I don't know exactly, but either the first or either the second character is on Mac OS X the Apple logo, maybe this should be the Ubuntu logo
alt + <backpace>: remove last word
* Ubuntu:
On Ubuntu the alt is used for commands. So, none of these works. On Mac OS X, the Command key (the one with the Apple logo on it) is used for commands. Ubuntu should also use this button for Commands (instead of alt). Alt should be used for generating special characters.

==Pressing alt, shift and key==
* Mac OS X:
* Ubuntu:
Same issue.

==Pressing alt, shift, ctrl and key==
* Mac OS X:
01234567890 Remark: last 2 keys do nothing!
Only I key: same as clicking on <tab> key
Only J and M and % keys: <return> and <return> and "

Only < and , and ; and : and = : ` and , and ; and . and /
* Ubuntu:
Same issue.

* Mac OS X:
alt + tab: creates bullet points like this: - ; when you enter something and hit return, a new line is started with a new bullet point; when you hit alt + tab multiple times, the bullet point will indent?? more to the right
alt + left/right: move cursor to begin or end of word
alt + up/down: move cursor to begin or end of paragraph
Apple key + left/right: move cursor to begin or end of line
Apple key + up/right: move cursor to begin or end of page
shift+left/right: select character
shift+alt+left/right: select word
shift+Apple key+left/right: select from cursor location to beginning or end of line
shift+Apple key+up/down: select from cursor location to beginning or end of page
eject button
* Ubuntu:
Most of these do not work.

sander (s-devrieze) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better.

Report was assigned to 'linux' package and tagged as 'hw-specific'.

kernel-janitor (kernel-janitor) wrote :

Hi sander,

This bug was reported a while ago and there hasn't been any activity in it recently. We were wondering if this is still an issue? Can you try with the latest development release of Ubuntu? ISO CD images are available from http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/karmic .

If it remains an issue, could you run the following command from a Terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal). It will automatically gather and attach updated debug information to this report.

apport-collect -p linux 290473

Also, if you could test the latest upstream kernel available that would be great. It will allow additional upstream developers to examine the issue. Refer to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelMainlineBuilds . Once you've tested the upstream kernel, please remove the 'needs-upstream-testing' tag. This can be done by clicking on the yellow pencil icon next to the tag located at the bottom of the bug description and deleting the 'needs-upstream-testing' text. Please let us know your results.

Thanks in advance.

[This is an automated message. Apologies if it has reached you inappropriately; please just reply to this message indicating so.]

tags: added: needs-kernel-logs
tags: added: needs-upstream-testing
tags: added: kj-triage
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
sander (s-devrieze) wrote :

The situation improved (tested with Karmic Koala Alpha 5). However, it is far from perfect. Hence, this bug is not fixed.

This is what improved:
* "Pressing only 1 key" works, but there is an important remark to make (*).
* "Pressing shift and key" works, but there is an important remark to make (*).
* CD-ROM eject button works, but there is an important remark to make (*).

(*) Ubuntu fails to set the keyboard layout automatically. Also, the above solution only works when *manually* (usability issue) selecting the "French Macintosh" keyboard layout and keyboard type in System/Preferences/Keyboard. AFAICS this layout is 100% similar as the Belgian Macintosh layout...however that one is not listed (usability issue!)

Suggested fix:
1) Copy the "French Macintosh" keyboard layout to "Belgian Macintosh". (*easy* usability improvement for Belgian users with a Macintosh keyboard)
2) Automatically set the right keyboard and keyboard layout if a Macintosh keyboard is detected (usability improvement for all owners of a Macintosh keyboard)
3) Fix the remaining issues of the original report. In particular a solution for entering a pipe would be a very welcome usability improvement for command line users and programmers.

sander (s-devrieze) wrote :

The situation has been improved in latest beta release. Finally, it is possible to easily enter the pipe character (|). Once Karmic Koala final is released (and I got time to install it), I will close this bug when automatic detection of the Apple keyboard type is working. Also, in that case, the remaining issues will be copied to a new or existing bug report with general Apple keyboard issues.

Jeremy Foshee (jeremyfoshee) wrote :

This bug report was marked as Incomplete and has not had any updated comments for quite some time. As a result this bug is being closed. Please reopen if this is still an issue in the current Ubuntu release http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download . Also, please be sure to provide any requested information that may have been missing. To reopen the bug, click on the current status under the Status column and change the status back to "New". Thanks.

[This is an automated message. Apologies if it has reached you inappropriately; please just reply to this message indicating so.]

tags: added: kj-expired
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
sander (s-devrieze) wrote :

Today I installed 10.10 using netinstall and this bug is not fixed. Macbook keyboards are not configured in a userfriendly way:
1) The keyboard detection says I have a generic keyboard with 105 and a French alternative layout. This is wrong as I have a Belgian Macbook keyboard!
2) In the keyboard settings dialog of Gnome, I cannot select a "Belgian Macintosh" layout. I guess a simple symlink to the French Macintosh layout is sufficient to fix this usability issue.
3) When selecting "Macbook/Macbook Pro" or "Macbook/Macbook Pro (Intl)" as keyboard model, I get an XKB error as reported before. I had to choose "Apple laptop" to get it working. This bug should be fixed too.
4) The Macbook keyboard has only 1 Alt key on the left. However, in the options dialog, Ubuntu does not know there is no right Alt key because the defaults for "Layout switching" and "Third level choosers" require the right Alt key!! This definitely should be fixed because average people cannot fix this! (guide to fix this on a Swedish Macbook keyboard: http://javahacker.com/?p=189 )

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Expired → New
Jan Claeys (janc) wrote :

After talking with somebody on IRC, it seems like Apple doesn't make real Belgian keyboards, but sells relabeled French layout keyboards as "Belgian" keyboards. that's what you get when buying from a "cheap-ass" manufacturer, I guess... ;-)

I guess it should be possible to add a "Belgian Apple layout" which is actually based on the French azerty variant?

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Alexander (alexander-dhoore) wrote :

I have a macbook 5,5 and I've had these problems too, until I realized something:

The Belgian apple keyboards are exactly the same as the French!!!

When I switch to "French Macintosh" everything works fine!!
Someone just has to make a copy of the French Macintosh and copy it to Belgian Macintosh...
Because all the Belgian mac keyboards in there are wrong... or very very old!

Grtz Alex

Alexander (alexander-dhoore) wrote :

Oh just realised there isn't even a belgian macintosh keyboard in there...
I was just using Belgian Alternative with macbook selected as keyboard model.

So there is not confusion at all. Someone just needs to copy paste the french one :p (or link to it or something...)

Jan Claeys (janc) on 2011-04-21
affects: linux (Ubuntu) → xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)
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