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Apple's MacBook Pro has a slight delay on the caps lock key. That is, the caps lock key has to be held down slightly longer than normal to register the key press required to engage the caps lock.

This is super annoying. Does anyone know how to stop it from happening?

(Above copied over from stackoverflow as it was closed there as "off topic".)

To elaborate further: Apple deems this a feature, and their knowledge base article does not disclose how to disable this delay.

However, I have reason to believe it is possible to do so.

Notably, I have found that, at least in my experience, if you remap the caps-lock key on Mac OS X (in System Preferences .. Keyboard .. Modifier Keys), and e.g. map it to Control, then the delay goes away while I am logged into Mac OS X.

My problem is that the delay remains when I boot into Ubuntu Linux, and in that context, even when I remap the Caps Lock key to Control, the delay is still present.

So, the question is: How is Apple disabling the delay, and more importantly, how can one replicate that act in the context of a Linux installation atop the laptop?

Update: There is a thread on superuser that may provide workarounds. I have not yet tried the suggestions there (namely: (1) toggling CapsLock-NoAction off/on, and (2) a firmware upgrade). I cannot tell from the context of that thread whether the workarounds have been tested on an Ubuntu installation.

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I have never noticed this before now, but I have had a play with mine and I can see what you mean. If you tap the caps lock key too quickly it does nothing. I never found it a problem before but just tried the disable/re-enable the caps lock key trick and it has made it instant! now no matter quickly I hit the key it always toggles caps lock. Very strange! –  tom1990 Mar 8 '13 at 23:21
Always thought I was just going crazy :p I can see its benefit, but in some situations it really annoys me. Would be good to know if its possible! –  OrangeBox Apr 1 '13 at 22:47
Indeed, the disable/re-enable caps lock trick (on the Mac OS X side), does seem to make the problem go away once one subsequently reboots to Linux. But it is not clear to me if the effect is permanent -- I left my machine powered-off for some time (weeks or perhaps even more than a month), and when I booted it straight to Linux this morning, it seemed like the delay had returned. Still quite mysterious to me. –  pnkfelix Apr 28 '13 at 16:47

1 Answer 1

I do know for certain that the caps lock delay is a feature of the firmware on the keyboard itself - so you can be confident that the delay timing happens no matter what OS the keyboard is driving at the moment.

I also know that Apple does not offer a path to flash the firmware to a lower level so we all will have to wait until someone with enough hardware experience blogs the tools and steps they performed to trick the hardware into loading the older firmware (or provide what looks like a newer firmware that regresses the delay to how it worked before without any delay.)

I apologize for the non-answer, but the path to accomplish this is well lit and it may help others take action (selecting an older keyboard - or refraining from upgrading the firmware) in the mean time while we wait for a real solution to implement a short or no timer on the caps lock key.

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One detail I am confused about in your answer: Are you saying it is false that when one remaps the caps-lock key in Mac OS X, the delay goes away? (I do not know how else to interpret your statement "the delay timing happens no matter what OS the keyboard is driving at the moment"; but that contradicts my direct experience -- unless Apple is using some undocumented API to the firmware to adjust the timing?) –  pnkfelix Apr 15 '13 at 3:30
I have mine remapped to ESC and the slightly longer hold is still necessary. I did this using a third-party app called Seil, though, and not via any functionality built in to OSX. Annoying, to be sure — don't their developers use Vim? Geez. –  intuited Dec 19 '14 at 22:59

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