The truth is rarely pure and never simple

Ubuntu and MATE: NumLock lock

Today MATE decided to take NumLock serious. It’s settings manager was unsure what state of NumLock was desired and thus changing it over and over. In that case, typing on a notebook can be rather tedious as you happen to press the keys in order to get a specific character and not any out of two possibilities. There is a two step solution. With

killall mate-settings-daemon

you are able to control NumLock again. The next thing to do is to fire up dconf-editor (part of the package dconf-tools) and set org.mate.desktop.peripherals.keyboard.remember-numlock-state to off. Now any forgetfulness of the settings manager will not affect your numbers any more.

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