This article describes the steps I took to configure the backlit keyboard on my MSI laptop with the MSIKLM script by “Gibtnix” who created and shared it on GitHub. I use OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and prefer a backlit keyboard because I work a lot during the evening hours.

MSIKLM install

Before I issued the commands listed below, I’ve installed libhidapi-devel with YAST. There is no need to install the other dependencies such as gcc and make because they are already installed. With that out of the way, let’s get started.

After I extracted the zip file ( here is the download link again ), I opened a terminal inside the /Downloads/MSIKLM-master/ directory and issued the following commands:

  • make
  • make clean
  • sudo mv -fv msiklm /usr/local/bin/msiklm
  • sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/msiklm

Installing MSIKLM went as expected and to turn on the backlit keys on my MSI laptop, I’ve issued this command: sudo msiklm green

Every time I boot (or reboot) and want the keyboard lit up, I need to issue the sudo msiklm green command. Note that besides green, the script author has provided additional choices which are documented on his GitHub page.

MSIKLM configure backlit keyboard MSI laptop
MSI laptop showing backlit keyboard

Final thoughts

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed is my daily driver and the only Linux distribution installed on all of my computers. I mostly do 3D modeling with Blender, precision CAD design with FreeCAD, web design with SublimeText and Firefox (WordPress admin), eBook production with LibreOffice to name just a few. If you are not 100% happy with your current distro then check out OpenSuse Leap or Tumbleweed here. I highly recommend it.

Thank you for reading. Please comment if you have issues with installing the MSIKLM script and I will try and point you in the right direction.

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