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File manager / terminal / dashboard shortcut keys not functioning

 There are three buttons on the keyboard that look like they should be shortcut keys for the file manager, terminal, and dashboard, but they don't do anything. Are these not supported?

(Related, the P1 through P7 keys don't seem to be used by anything, so it's a bit weird that I have to use the Fn key to get to the far more used F keys.)

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Yes,  I have confirmed this on my system.

The hotkeys are defined in /home/pi/.config/openbox/lxde-pi-rc.xml

The brightness keys still work and call "pt-brightness", but the others are gone. I don't know why pi-top has removed them in one of their updates, but my guess is that they caused problems when used at the wrong time (maybe from the dashboard or within CEED universe?)

If you want to know the key code of any of the keys of the keyboard, you can open a terminal and use the command "xev". If you then push any key, the key code is displayed among other things. To exit xev just close the terminal window.

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Thanks! That's exactly the sort of info I was looking for. I'm using my pi-top for tinkering, rather than education, so interfering with CEED Universe or the dashboard doesn't really matter to me. I already have both disabled.

Given all the work I'm doing to de-kiddify the pi-top, perhaps it would be useful to make a script to do all these things, so other people like me don't have so much trouble.


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This is a very interesting idea. I am also using the pi-top for tinkering. Perhaps we could start with a list. What I have documented in this forum:

- Boot up directly to the desktop, avoiding the long boot process.

- Display battery status on the desktop

- Define hot keys

- Change keyboard layout (for example for German speaking users)

- Remove nasty xscreensaver message

- pi-top-hub pin layout

One of the problems of a script would be that it would have to be kept up to date. If pi-top changes anything relevant in their software, the script could fail or even mess up the system. Therefore it might be better to just write a description of all relevant things to do. We could use github, so that everybody could contribute (moderated), and modified files could be downloaded from there directly.

What do you think about that?

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It might make more sense to approach this from the other direction: instead of removing components from pitopOS, perhaps it would be better to add components on top of Raspbian. This way, we don't have to worry about being broken by pitopOS changes.

 Essentially, we'd be rewriting all the customized stuff like pt-battery, pt-brightness, and pt-hub-controller. You've already got pt-battery in the bag with your battery widget.  I was disappointed that the source for the pi-top utilities wasn't explicitly published anywhere, so if we put this on github, there'll be a nice open-source community for the pi-top. I'm getting excited here!

Since you seem to have much more of a clue than I do, would you like to take point on creating the github repo? 


I will make a github repository tomorrow. By the way, pt-hub-controler and other pi-top commands are scripts. Open a terminal window, then type for example "whereis pt-hub-controler". Then you can go there and look at it. What I have not figured out yet is what exactly happens during shutdown (how the hub is turned off). This would have to be put onto the standard raspian system of course if we start from there.
Heh, I already had to find pt-hub-controller on my own. Something was wrong with my wiring harness, so the raspi kept shutting down as soon as it logged in. I traced the problem back to that script, and edited it to not shut down.


For now I have made a repository with tips, tricks and scripts to remove unwanted features from pi-top-os with the purpose of making it behave just like standard Raspbian.

Go with your browser to, and search for pi-top-just-as-raspbian

(sorry, but links to not seem to get accepted in this forum)

Dear Rene and David,

Thanks for your posts. I have also spent the last days de-Pi-Topping my Pi-Top. I love it as a piece of hardware, but the Pi-TopOS didn't work well, wouldn't update, wouldn't let me log in, etc. I had an epiphany when I realised I didn't need it :-)

I am using Jessie and have so far (and thanks to Rene and others for posting to help us beginners out on this!):

- copied the Pi-Top Hub instructions for charging

- set the hotkeys to do various things (open Terminal; open File manager; open Epiphany; play BBC Radio 4 on mpc)

-I managed to get the mute and volume keybinds to work fine

- I have set the screen brightness to 10

- I also set the size of the Terminal screen to a larger size and increased the font size (not getting any younger)

- I also have Rene's battery script working (though my battery is fried and I'm waiting for a new one)

The Pi-Top now starts up within a few seconds and seems to be running very well. Thanks to the two of you for taking the lead on this.



Thanks, Stuart, and welcome to the de-Pi-Topping club :)

I also like my Pi-Top hardware very much and would not want to give it away anymore.

If we want to start from standard Jessie, we first need to figure out how to shut down the Pi-Top-Hub-Controller and the power to the Raspberry Pi during the Raspberry Pi shutdown process. I have not been successful with that, but think, that it is a mandatory precaution for the battery. I hope that somebody can come up with a solution. As long as we have no solution for that, I think it is better to remove unwanted, not essential components from pi-top-os. My battery widget will not help to protect the battery unless this works reliably. It really does not make any sense whatsoever to shut down the Raspberry Pi if the battery capacity falls below a certain value, unless we can also power down the hub.

In my opinion the stripped down pi-top-os works well for me right now, and behaves more or less like standard Raspbian.

Thanks Rene,

We are approaching from two different angles, but aiming at similar things. And I'm NOT an expert, more of a thief, stealing bits of code and ideas from different places. And learning a lot in the process.

I am wondering about the powering down of the hub. Do you think that when I 'sudo shutdown -h now' and then turn of the Pi-Top using the green on/off switch that the hub is still drawing power and draining the battery? Is that the issue?

And on a different note, I'll try your xscreensaver tip later to get rid of that screen splash :-)



No, I think that using the green switch to turn off the hub after a "sudo shutdown -h now" is ok. The problem is, that if you are accidentally leaving the pi-top running (it happened to me for example that I just closed it as I am used to do with my Mac), my widget will run "sudo shutdown -h now" to shutdown the Raspberry Pi, when the battery capacity runs low. But if this command does not turn off the hub, then both the hub and the Raspberry Pi continue to drain the battery. If the pi-top-os is installed and works properly, "sudo shutdown -h now" also switches off the hub at the end of the shutdown process and there is no need to using the green switch.

I think I know now what has to be done. We need to install pt-hub-controller properly using apt-get. I am currently trying to figure out how to add apt.pi-top-com as a source for apt-get. I found some description what needs to be done, but there seem to be some typos holding me back.

I have been able to figure out how to install pt-hub-controller properly on a standard raspbian jessie distribution. Using your browser, go to and search for pi-top-install. A complete description is there.

I am looking forward to your contributions to further improve this setup.

Thanks! As soon as I have time, I'll probably try to rewrite pt-hub-controller, modeled after your battery widget. I think it'd be nice to have all the hub control stuff in a widget on your status bar, and it might be more robust than a python script.


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