ThinkPad mute button

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Problem

The mute button does not work properly on most ThinkPads and IdeaPads with a newer kernel. Two different scenarios occur:

Nothing works

The Button does not react at all: no led flash (some ThinkPads have an LED, indicating the Mute-State) and no effect on Speakers Volume. It only mutes, if you first press the mute button and afterwards the Vol-Down-Key.

External Audio still on

Pressing the button causes the speakers to mute (LED also works), but external audio is still on.

Solution

Older IBM ThinkPads

First try this: "http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Mute_button"

Nothing works

Edit your /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf and add the following line:

/etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf
...
options thinkpad_acpi enabled=0 # enables Mute-Button on ThinkPads with IdeaPad-Firmware

reboot, and go on.

External Audio still on

Install tpbAUR from the AUR and create an file /root/.tpbrc:

/root/.tpbrc
#tpb-Settings:
CALLBACK "/root/tp-key-handler"
OSD off

Now create the file /root/tp-key-handler:

/root/tp-key-handler
#!/bin/bash
echo $1 $2
if [ $1 = mute ]; then
	if [ $2 = on ]; then
		mset="off";
	else
		mset="on";
	fi
	sudo -u USERNAME amixer sset Master $mset; # I had to sudo to me, because I use PulseAudio
fi

you'll have too add execute-rights to /root/tp-key-handler:

chmod +x /root/tp-key-handler 

Since tpb needs root-privileges as well as X, you may start it by adding sudo tpb in the .xinitrc and editing your sudo-Settings (use visudo) or addin gksudo tpb in any X-Startscript (the last will ask for an password on startup).

External Audio still on (and you use XFCE)

Go to Applications->Settings->Keyboard->Application Shortcuts tab. Hit Add and for the command, use amixer sset Master toggle. For the key, hit the mute button. Protip, to make sure the led state is correct, start with the led in the opposite state of your mutedness so that when you map the button, it starts out in the correct state. Alternatively, you could just reboot and make sure the led is off before you get into your XFCE session.