Posted over 4 years ago. Visible to the public. Linked content.

How to enable the Thinkpad microphone mute key on Ubuntu 16.04

While the hardware mute button of my Lenovo x230 worked on Ubuntu 14.04 out of the box, it does not on Ubuntu 16.04. It is fairly simple to fix, though.

There is an extensive answer on Ask Ubuntu Archive , but only part of it was required for me. Here is the gist of it.

  1. Open a terminal

  2. Run acpi_listen and press the mute key. You should see something like this:

    button/f20 F20 00000080 00000000 K

    Press Ctrl+C to exit.

  3. Run amixer scontrols. You will see multiple lines, one of which should be:

    Simple mixer control 'Capture',0

    If there is no 'Capture', you might see 'Internal Mic' or similar.

  4. Now bind the key to toggle that device. Create an ACPI event file for that:

    sudo vim /etc/acpi/events/lenovo-mutemic

    Add the following. Fill in event with the acpi_listen result for your hardware mute key. If there was no Capture control for you, change accordingly (keep the quotes).

    event=button/f20 F20 00000080 00000000 K action=/usr/bin/amixer sset 'Capture',0 toggle
  5. Restart the ACPI service.

    sudo service acpid restart
  6. That should be all. Do some testing to see if it actually works.

On my x230, the hardware key has an integrated notification LED. If your Thinkpad does not have that, you could use your power LED and/or an extra notification bubble.
Please see the answer on on how to add such features, or if you run into trouble.

Your development team has a full backlog of feature requests, chores and refactoring coupled with deadlines? We are familiar with that. With our "DevOps as a Service" offering, we support developer teams with infrastructure and operations expertise.

Owner of this card:

Arne Hartherz
Last edit:
over 4 years ago
by Henning Koch
About this deck:
We are makandra and do test-driven, agile Ruby on Rails software development.
License for source code
Posted by Arne Hartherz to makandra dev
This website uses short-lived cookies to improve usability.
Accept or learn more