It should work for xfce as well (he makes i915-specific changes to the kernel for the intel driver like you have). You won't be able to use the gnome utilities but the Fn keys might work. Could be worth a try.
Originally Posted by raginkestrel
Does this command do anything:
4. I don't get any responses when I press the buttons.
5. Here is the return: VGN-FS850
This is strange, as everything else on this laptop works better on Xubuntu, except that the function keys don't work. Could something be blocking them?
Another thing to try is to edit the udev keymap file and add your system (it doesn't look like it processes VGN-FS* systems):
sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=96
sudo mousepad /lib/udev/rules.d/95-keymap.rules
and replace it with:
reboot and see if there is a difference.