EVGA Z20 Keyboard Compatibility (And the search to make it work)

So my employer recently got me a new keyboard for my workstation, the EVGA Z20.
I also use a KVM to jump between two Windows PC's, and an Ubuntu MATE PC.
I set it up on a Windows PC using the proper software as well.
The keyboard works perfectly with Windows, but there are a few problems when I switch to Ubuntu.
Namely, some keystrokes aren't recognized while typing, some register as being held down, and then the keyboard eventually disconnects from the PC entirely.
I tried everything I could, from using WINE to install the normal program, to searching for third party software, to searching for some way to modify the existing keyboard driver built into the OS.

I've checked on the EVGA website, and at least with GPU's, they state that they don't support Linux. Other forums haven't turned up any sort of workaround either. I also e-mailed their support team several days ago, but not yet received a response.

So I'm ultimately trying to get this keyboard at base functionality with Ubuntu MATE, and I suspect I may need to learn to write the software myself. That being said, I also have zero experience with that.
If anybody can help me find a way to make this keyboard work, or point me in the right direction to learn how to write the software myself, I would greatly appreciate it!

Hi User_115, welcome to the community :slight_smile:

First of all, I am not familiar with the EVGA Z20.
What I write below may or may not work:

Make sure the keyboard gets enough power:
quote from : https://forums.evga.com/Software-not-up-to-standard-m3528687.aspx

I've had a few Issues with my Z15 and Z12 and Unleashed , ie not being recognised on computer bootup etc and at least some of it seems to be related to the microprocessor in the Keyboards needing the Power from a USB3 (Three) Port . My MOBO has 4 ports for Keyboards and Mice and I tried them all but all are USB2 it seems and didn't provide the power necessary ( or wake on boot properly? ) switching it out to a spare USB3 port has stopped a lot of that.

If that is sorted out but the keyboard is still not working, reset the keyboard and try this:

  1. powerdown the windowscomputers

  2. try to see if the keyboard works on the ubuntu computer without the kvm, if it doesn't: powerdown ubuntu computer,disconnect and reconnect the keyboard, boot ubuntu computer and try again.

  3. if everything is ok, try to see if the keyboard works on the ubuntu computer connected via the kvm.

If that works then (and only then) the best way to continue is this:

  1. uninstall the EVGA keyboard drivers from the windows computers. The keyboard doesn't need drivers and they might set the keyboard to a standards incompatible mode.

  2. switch the keyboard to the ubuntu computer

  3. reboot everything.

If everything works, it means that you will have to do without the EVGA supplied drivers but at least everything else will be ok.

If you want to write a driver yourself:

  1. you could ask EVGA for the datasheet with the control codes of the keyboard.

  2. Check this site:
    Home · Wiki · Adam Honse / OpenRGB · GitLab

  3. Check the comments on
    which point to some info about reverse engineering a driver.


Thanks for all the tips!
I'm currently talking with someone with EVGA about getting those control codes, so hopefully it'll come through. Unfortunately, the steps before that did not solve the issue, so it's off to learn how to write a driver and reverse engineer one myself!
I'll post back when I have more progress to report.

EDIT: I heard back from EVGA on this, and short version is, they do not / will not release the API or source code, and were not allowed to say more than, they do not support Linux.
So in short, it looks like the only way left is to outright reverse engineer the driver.
Which is bundled up in RGB control software, so the first step I think, is to isolate the driver from the rest of the software.
If you have any tips on how I should proceed, I'm always open to suggestions!

No tips at the moment, not as such. However:

Maybe this:
I wonder how you normally enter your BIOS-setup in your windows computer since the keyboard driver is not yet loaded at that moment and the keyboard refuses to work without driver.

Considering all of the above:
if it works in BIOS, does it start as an UEFI extension ?
i.e. Is it installed on your UEFI partition ?

If so, it would be theoretically OS independent and potentially usable in Linux if we only would be able to communicate with it.

It would also mean that if you replace your current SSD for a brand new empty system drive, the keyboard wouldn't work until the EFI setup, which means you can't use the keyboard to install windows in the first place.
Is my reasoning correct ?

It is scary at least that if the EVGA driver (non-free, closed source, windows only) is discontinued, your keyboard (closed specifications) is reduced to an expensive paperweight because of this.

Did you consider any moment to trade it in for a keyboard that adheres to the standard ? (so the lifespan of the keyboard is not dependent on driver support)

Anyway, reverse engineering the driver is therefore extremely useful, not only for use with Linux but also for use with Windows in a year or two (so you won't be inconvenienced when MS+EVGA pull the plug on the driver)

Sorry that I can't be of much more help here. :pensive:
I can only wish you good luck and I will keep an eye out for any clues that might help :+1:

Hello User_115

This may not be what you are looking for, but then again you might find it to be of interest:

I have no personal experience of this keyboard.

Another keyboard possibly of interest:

This is the one I use on my Linux gaming/hacking rig (desktop).
Don't worry about the so called 'heavy' typing.
The reviewer is either a liar or a wimp.

No drivers needed.

Just for clarification I read as your employer supplied the keyboard for some reason (features) that works or are needed in your job workstation which would seem to be using Windows. They determined it is what they need or want. Then you are using a switch on another Windows and Ubuntu computer and trying to configure the keyboard to work on the Ubuntu computer. Thus if I understand you would not be able to replace it with a different one. I understand the possible concept as once had a switch to another room with just monitor and keyboard to utilize my one computer.

Many people use the keyboard very casually. Often, while working at a computer or laptop, they eat because of which crumbs get into the keyboard, as a result of which it starts to work poorly, and in the case of a laptop, you need to pay a lot of money for repairs, and if the keyboard is for a PC, you will have to buy a new one. That is why I can recommend paying attention to the MacBook keyboard cover.
I've been using this keyboard case for a very long time and it's the only reason why my keyboard is still in perfect condition.