Ubuntu 10.04 keyboard not working in VMWare
This is an odd problem. A friend of mine reported it to me after he’d performed a clean installation of Ubuntu 10.04 in VMWare 7. The keyboard worked fine all the way through the installation, but then stopped working on reboot. The only way he could input characters was to use the on-screen keyboard, which is about as convenient as typing with your nose! The keyboard would then usually work after logging in.
After a lot of searching, and weeding out responses and workarounds which were either a) pointless, e.g: “just use the on-screen keyboard”; b) incorrect, e.g: “perform another clean re-install” or c) just plain spooky, e.g: “put your computer in a chalk circle and sacrifice a chicken at midnight” – ok, the last one was made up, but the other two were actual suggestions – then I found the following one, which worked:
Open a terminal window and type:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup
His machine was a Dell Precision M6400, so the closest keyboard option I could find was Dell Precision M65. I set all the locale options, rebooted, and everything worked ok.
The details of the bug are here, and it looks now like it will be fixed with the next cycle of updates anyway.
UPDATE: I should have mentioned how to open the on-screen keyboard. Sam, a commenter below, kindly provided the tip, so I’ve quoted his comment here:
For anyone else who, like me, didn’t know how to open the on-screen keyboard:
At the gnome login screen there’s a little icon of a man in a circle on the bottom task bar, click that and select ‘Universal Access Preferences’, then check the ‘Use on-screen keyboard’ option.