USB keyboard is not working when installing Linux on a Dell OptiPlex server

  • 3038395
  • 13-Feb-2008
  • 30-Apr-2012


Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10
Novell Open Enterprise Server (Linux based)
Novell Linux Desktop 9

Dell OptiPlex desktop


When booting from an installation medium (e.g. DVD or CD-ROM), there is no response from the USB keyboard. In particular, it is not possible to select the"Installation" option instead of the "Boot from Hard Disk" option in the menu presented.


Change the BIOS to a version with working USB keyboard support.

Additional Information

Root cause

When this menu is presented during the installation process, no operating system has been loaded yet. The menu is presented by a boot loader, GRUB. This boot loader does not have keyboard drivers of its own, but relies instead on BIOS functions to obtain keyboard input. When the BIOS is defective in this regard, there is no way to change the option in the menu from the default one.

Version information(Last updated: 2008-02-13)

This issue is known to be present with OptiPlex GX520 and OptiPlex GX620 models; it is posible other models are affected as well. At the time of writing, the latest BIOS version for both the GX520 and GX620 models, version A11, causes this issue whereas the previous version, A10, does not. After changing to the A10 version, the USB keyboard should become usable during the boot loader menu at the start of the installation process.