How To: Enable Numlock on Modern Lubuntu

At the time of writing, Lubuntu 18.04 is soon to be no longer supported. With the change to LXQt, many of the old tweaks no longer work and you’ll need to learn some new ways to do things. In this article, I’ll explain how to put numlock into its on position automatically with Lubuntu 20.04 and up.

First, we’re going to install ‘numlockx’ and that’s pretty easy. Start by using your keyboard to open the terminal with CTRL + ALT + T. (I really like that keyboard indicating layout feature!)

Now that you have that open, try the following:

[code]sudo apt install numlockx[/code]

Next, open your applications menu, click on Preferences, click on LXQt settings, and then click on Session settings.

Once you have that open, click on Autostart (on the left) and then Add (on the right). Once that is open, give our numlock a name and enter the following command:


(Don’t forget to click Ok to save it.) It should look a little like this:

setting up numlockx
See? This is a nice easy one!

And, that’s it. Reboot and it should work. I can’t really drag this out to making it a longer article. Sure, there are other ways to add something to autostart, but I see no reason to do this particular exercise any other way. Why add complexity when this just works out of the box?

Like always, thanks for reading. Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter. Chances are that I’ll eventually cease posting at all the various forums (when the pandemic is over) so this will help you keep up with the site and keep in touch. Don’t worry, I won’t send you any spam.

XF86Mail, Thunderbird, and OpenBox.

My email button on my keyboard didn’t work. It has never worked. I decided to make the keyboard email button open Thunderbird.

This is done in Lubuntu 18.04, but I presume it’s going to work in any Linux that uses OpenBox. It should also work with any ‘standard’ keyboard that has a dedicated email button. First, you should set Thunderbird (or whatever client) as the default email handler. I’m sure this will work with any Linux email client.

Try as I might, the “Setup Hot Keys” GUI method would not take. You’re really not supposed to edit the XML file that stores OpenBox configs. In fact, there’s a rather explicit warning stating that you should not do this. 

Depending on your distro, your OpenBox config may be called something else. In Lubuntu 18.04 it is in ~/.config/openbox/lubuntu-rc.xml – so use that as a guide to find your own.

Then, make a backup of the file and open it up with a plain text editor and add this:

<!-- Keybinding for email button-->
<keybind key="XF86Mail">
<action name="Execute">
<command>lxsession-default email</command>

Save the file, overwriting the original, logout and login again, now test it. I doubt it really matters where you put it in the file, but I tucked it in with the other keybindings. That will open your default email client. In my case, that is Thunderbird. Whatever you’ve registered as the default email client is what will open.