I use my Raspberry Pi via SSH and the 'f' and 'b' keys do not work in the terminal (the 'F' and 'B' do work, though). Also, when I start a text editor vim/vi/nano, every key works. It seems to be a problem with the terminal itself. Does anyone know how I could fix this?

This is the output of uname -a:

Linux raspberrypi 4.4.15-v7+ #897 SMP Tue Jul 12 18:42:55 BST 2016 armv7l GNU/Linux
  • Are the keys bound to a command? What happens when you type the keys twice?
    – ott--
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 18:42
  • Keys are not bound to a command and nothing happens if I type the keys twice or more.
    – AthM
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 17:36
  • I wonder if your system has xev installed (linux.die.net/man/1/xev). Start it and try the keys again.
    – ott--
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 17:44
  • The problem seems to be gone though I'm not really sure what was the cause (Might have happened when I connected my Ardnuino to it... really don't know). I'll send feedback if it happens again.
    – AthM
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 22:12

2 Answers 2


Kind of weird. You might try raspi-config -- under Internationalization Options there is a means of setting the keyboard type.

Beware I think initially (or if after you choose "English"?) it shows only shows a variety of UK style layouts, none of which correspond to US ones; to see those you have to choose "other" first.

Most people on the west side of the Atlantic have a US style 104 key PC keyboard. You have to reboot for this to take effect (or you could try plugging and unplugging the keyboard, but I think a reboot is needed).

  • It tried to change keyboard layout and got this error after selecting to option change keyborad layout : update-rc.d: warning: start and stop actions are no longer supported; falling back to defaults
    – AthM
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 17:41
  • Don't worry about that; it has to do with backward compatibility with the init system used in the first version of Raspbian. The keyboard setup should still work (although I noticed the last installs I did the boot process may hang on that for <= 90s the first time or so) -- but I can't promise it will fix your particular problem.
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 17:48

I found out years later, with a similar mistake, that the problem was due to a bad configuration of my .inputrc file.

The configuration was something like that : bind '"\e[A": history-search-backward' bind '"\e[B": history-search-forward'

There are two possible situation that could have happened :

  • I executed . .inputrc and forgot the ''
  • This bad configuration of the .inputrc was executed at login

For the second case not to cause an error, the syntax should have been : "\e[A": history-search-backward "\e[B": history-search-forward

The solution is to reset the key bindings with first : set -o vi to reset the binding for the 'b' and 'f' keys then set -o emacs to recover the nice EMACS bindings. Strangely I found out that set -o emacs alone would not reset the bad bindings.

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