Linux 5.8 To Allow Swapping Fn / Ctrl Keys On Apple Keyboards

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 4 June 2020 at 07:00 AM EDT. 15 Comments
While there have been out-of-tree Linux patches offering this support already, with the in-development Linux 5.8 kernel comes a mainline solution for allowing the Fn and left Control keys to be swapped on Apple keyboards.

In the name of "people who want to keep PC keyboard muscle memory", the Apple HID driver in Linux 5.8 has a new option to allow swapping the Fn and left Control keys. This works for all MacBook computers as well as external Apple wired/wireless keyboards.

Swapping of these keys can be done by setting the hid_apple.swap_fn_leftctrl=1 kernel module parameter when booting the system to have their behavior swapped.

This Apple option was sent in as part of the HID changes for Linux 5.8. The HID pull also has a fix for handling pointing sticks on some touchpads, touchpad improvements for the Medion Akoya E1239T, quirks for the Trust Panora Graphic Tablet, and other minor HID driver tweaks.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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