tweaking arch on the pi

February 2, 2014

I continue to tweak the twm configuration. I’ve now found out what fonts to use (9×15 and 10×20 are the two I use currently). There’s a lot less eyestrain using the Samsung 1920 x 1080 monitor. And I like twm. It’s old school, like me.

I commented in an earlier post about fixing the alt function key functionality with the aluminum Apple keyboard, like this one:

If you read the Arch documentation on “fixing” the Apple keyboard function keys, you’d be led to believe the following command:

echo 2 > /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/fnmode

which does work from the command line, will work if typed verbatim into /etc/modprobe.d/hid_apple.conf. It won’t. If you want the alt function key functionality fix to be permanent, then you need to place the following into hid_apple.conf:

options hid_apple fnmode=2

Now when the Raspberry Pi reboots with its Apple keyboard the alt function keys behave as expected, at least from the command line. If you have twm up and running, then the alt functionality stops working, meaning you can’t switch form the twm desktop to any of the other virtual desktops. Another minor issue to solve another day.

I’ve dropped the RPI.GPIO code from Sourceforge onto the twm card and I’ve compiled it. I also installed the i2c and smbus Arch ARM packages, but the i2c tools aren’t working. For whatever reason /dev/i2c isn’t there and thus i2cdetect fails. That’s a more important issue to investigate. If the Arch ARM kernel wasn’t compiled with GPIO support, then there’s not much use to continue with Arch. Everything I’ve read so far is using Raspbian for its examples, but I’m not too crazy about how that’s set up out-of-the-box.

Before I get all crazy, I think I’ll look at the kernel modules and see what’s been installed, and see if the GPIO module(s) are being loaded. I’ve not had any reason to suspect there’s a problem so far, but then I wasn’t ready to start working with the SoC peripherals. Now I am.


I fixed the i2c issue. Read the next post in the series.

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  1. raspberry pi 3 – the adventure continues | Arcane Science Lab - March 9, 2016

    […] I should also note that I needed to fix how the Apple aluminum keyboard worked as I documented here. […]