The only partimage keys that work as advertised in Debian are the tab, space and enter. All others, including the function keys, do nothing. The major missing keys are the arrow up and down without which you can't select a partition.
All other console programs work ok with the keyboard. Selecting other keyboard start up options and replacing the keyboard with another type does nothing. Googling shows that I am not the only one with this problem.
I have tested this problem on 4 machines now, all running Debian Woody and all give the same problem so at least it is not specific to my machine. Knoppix 3.3 does the same thing.
I discovered that the "H" will act as the down arrow but can't find a corresponding up arrow clone key. So now I can carefully select the partition and use the program - which I really like and has got me out of a jam more than once. Fortunately, this is a program that is used only occasionally and the workaround is satisfactory.
Makes no sense to me and will gladly read anybody's explanation of the above, expecially a fix.