[WBEL-users] Keyboard repeat problems with HP

Mike B. Saber at omniphile.com
Thu Aug 10 09:51:52 CDT 2006

At 8/10/2006 01:41 AM, Jesse Rosenzweig wrote:
>Hmmm.  Fairly hostile response, but I see your point... So, more specifically,

Yes, it was a bit hostile, and sorry for that.  I did try to inject a 
little humor to blunt it a bit, but perhaps not enough.  Glad the point got 
made anyway...your restatement of the question is *much* improved.

>I installed whitebox linux ( release 4 respin 1 ) on a new HP (AMD - 2GHz) 
>machine.  I pretty much used all the defaults for the install and 
>everything works great, except when I try to type in any application (a 
>terminal is the easiest to see it in), I will intermittenly get a spewing 
>of very fast key repeates, so if I try to type 'ls' for example I will get 
>llllllllsssssssss.  I have had to disable the "key presses repeat when key 
>is help down" feature in the system settings of GNOME to work around this 
>problem.  I have tried different keyboards and different keyboard 
>connections (USB and PS/2), but always the same problem.  Adjusting the 
>delay and repeat speed doesn't seem to change the erronious 
>behavior.  Because this same thing happens with VNC, I don't believe it 
>could be a driver problem, but I'm not familiar with the inner workings of 
>the keyboard driver and interface into the OS.  Does that help?  Any ideas?

I don't claim current knowledge of the internals of the drivers or GNOME 
either, but I have seen this on older versions of Red Hat Linux (5.2 if 
memory serves).  When I've seen it, it happened when I held a key slightly 
too long, but not as long as the system BIOS would have needed before going 
into key repeat mode if I were running MS-DOS on the same system for 
instance.  I'd usually get 3 or 4 repeats before I could let go when it 
happened.  Your seeing more suggests that your faster processor may be a 
factor (mine was a Pentium 233).

My impression at the time was that the timing for how long to wait before 
repeating was just too short in RHL.  On my system it wasn't a huge 
problem, as it was mostly a server that I didn't work on often, and as long 
as I was careful not to type slowly, it didn't happen.  I don't recall 
seeing the problem in RHL 7.2, which is what is currently running on that 
system (it's scheduled for a change to WBEL, which is why I'm reading this 
list)...but the hardware (mother board) has been upgraded too, and it may 
just be an interaction between the driver and the specific BIOS, or maybe 
cacheing, if the repeat thing is done as a delay loop rather than a timer.

If your BIOS has a key-repeat-rate setting, you might try setting it much 
longer (it's probably something like 250 milliseconds), or disable it 
entirely, and see if that results in any change in WBEL's behavior.  Even 
if it doesn't fix it, it would be more data.

The only other suggestion involves looking at the source code to see how 
the key repeat is done.  That might lead to a real explanation and possible 

I hope someone else here has something better to offer, now that the 
problem is more clearly defined.

-- Mike B.
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