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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       keymaps - keyboard table descriptions for loadkeys and dumpkeys

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       These  files  are  used by loadkeys(1) to modify the translation tables
       used by the kernel keyboard driver and generated  by  dumpkeys(1)  from
       those translation tables.

       The  format  of	these  files is vaguely similar to the one accepted by
       xmodmap(1).  The file consists of charset or key or  string  definition
       lines interspersed with comments.

       Comments are introduced with !  or # characters and continue to the end
       of the line. Anything following one of these characters on that line is
       ignored.  Note  that  comments  need  not begin from column one as with

       The syntax of keymap files is line oriented; a complete definition must
       fit on a single logical line. Logical lines can, however, be split into
       multiple physical lines by ending each subline with the backslash character

INCLUDE FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

       A keymap can include other keymaps using the syntax

	      include "pathname"


       A character set definition line is of the form:

	      charset <charset>

       Where  <charset>  is one of the currently supported charsets, which can
       be found using dumpkeys --help.	It defines how following  keysyms  are
       to be interpreted.  For example, in iso-8859-1 the symbol mu (or micro)
       has code 0265, while in iso-8859-7 the letter mu has code 0354.


       Each complete key definition line is of the form:

	      keycode keynumber = keysym keysym keysym...

       keynumber is the internal identification number	of  the  key,  roughly
       equivalent  to the scan code of it.  keynumber can be given in decimal,
       octal or hexadecimal notation. Octal is denoted by a leading  zero  and
       hexadecimal by the prefix 0x.

       Each  of the keysyms represent keyboard actions, of which up to 256 can
       be bound to a single key.  The  actions	available  include  outputting
       Latin1  character  codes  or character sequences, switching consoles or
       keymaps, booting the machine etc. (The complete list  can  be  obtained
       from dumpkeys(1) by saying  dumpkeys -l).

       Each  keysym  may  be prefixed by a '+' (plus sign), in which case this
       keysym is treated as a "letter" and therefore  affected	by  the  "CapsLock"
  the same way as by "Shift" (to be correct, the CapsLock inverts
       the Shift state). The ASCII letters ('a'-'z' and 'A'-'Z') are made CapsLock'able
  by  default.  If  Shift+CapsLock should not produce a lower
       case symbol, put lines like

	      keycode 30 = +a  A

       in the map file.

       Which of the actions bound to a given key is taken when it  is  pressed
       depends	on  what modifiers are in effect at that moment.  The keyboard
       driver supports 8 modifiers. These modifiers  are  labeled  (completely
       arbitrarily)  Shift,  AltGr,  Control,  Alt,  ShiftL, ShiftR, CtrlL and
       CtrlR.  Each of these modifiers has an associated weight  of  power  of
       two according to the following table:

	      modifier		      weight

	      Shift			1
	      AltGr			2
	      Control			4
	      Alt			8
	      ShiftL		       16
	      ShiftR		       32
	      CtrlL		       64
	      CtrlR		      128

       The  effective action of a key is found out by adding up the weights of
       all the modifiers in effect. By default, no modifiers are in effect, so
       action  number  zero, i.e. the one in the first column in a key definition
 line, is taken when the key is  pressed  or  released.  When  e.g.
       Shift  and  Alt	modifiers  are in effect, action number nine (from the
       10th column) is the effective one.

       Changing the state of what modifiers are in effect can be  achieved  by
       binding	appropriate  key actions to desired keys. For example, binding
       the symbol Shift to a key sets the Shift modifier in effect  when  that
       key  is pressed and cancels the effect of that modifier when the key is
       released. Binding AltGr_Lock to a key sets AltGr in effect when the key
       is  pressed  and  cancels the effect when the key is pressed again. (By
       default Shift, AltGr, Control and Alt are bound to the keys that bear a
       similar label; AltGr may denote the right Alt key.)

       Note  that  you	should be very careful when binding the modifier keys,
       otherwise you can end up with an unusable keyboard mapping. If you  for
       example	define a key to have Control in its first column and leave the
       rest of the columns to be  VoidSymbols,	you're	in  trouble.  This  is
       because	pressing  the key puts Control modifier in effect and the following
 actions are looked up from  the  fifth  column  (see  the  table
       above).	So, when you release the key, the action from the fifth column
       is taken. It has VoidSymbol in it, so nothing happens. This means  that
       the Control modifier is still in effect, although you have released the
       key. Re-pressing and releasing the key has no effect.  To  avoid  this,
       you should always define all the columns to have the same modifier symbol.
 There is a handy short-hand notation for this, see below.

       keysyms can be given in decimal, octal, hexadecimal or  symbolic  notation.
 The numeric notations use the same format as with keynumber.  The
       symbolic notation resembles that used by xmodmap(1).   Notable  differences
  are  the	number	symbols.  The numeric symbols '0', ..., '9' of
       xmodmap(1) are replaced with the corresponding words 'zero', 'one', ...
       'nine' to avoid confusion with the numeric notation.

       It  should  be  noted  that  using  numeric notation for the keysyms is
       highly unportable as the key action numbers may vary  from  one	kernel
       version	to  another  and the use of numeric notations is thus strongly
       discouraged. They are intended to be used only when you know there is a
       supported keyboard action in your kernel for which your current version
       of loadkeys(1) has no symbolic name.

       There is a number of short-hand notations to add readability and reduce
       typing work and the probability of typing-errors.

       First of all, you can give a map specification line, of the form

	      keymaps 0-2,4-5,8,12

       to  indicate that the lines of the keymap will not specify all 256 columns,
 but only the indicated ones. (In the  example:  only  the	plain,
       Shift,  AltGr,  Control,  Control+Shift, Alt and Control+Alt maps, that
       is, 7 columns instead of 256.) When no such line is given, the  keymaps
       0-M  will  be defined, where M+1 is the maximum number of entries found
       in any definition line.

       Next, you can leave off any trailing VoidSymbol entries from a key definition
	line.  VoidSymbol  denotes a keyboard action which produces no
       output and has no other effects either. For example, to define key number
  30	to  output  'a'  unshifted, 'A' when pressed with Shift and do
       nothing when pressed with AltGr or other modifiers, you can write

	      keycode 30 = a	A

       instead of the more verbose

	      keycode 30 = a A	  VoidSymbol	 VoidSymbol \
			VoidSymbol VoidSymbol VoidSymbol ...

       For added convenience, you can usually get off with  still  more  terse
       definitions.  If  you enter a key definition line with only and exactly
       one action code after the equals sign, it has a special meaning. If the
       code (numeric or symbolic) is not an ASCII letter, it means the code is
       implicitly replicated through all columns being	defined.  If,  on  the
       other  hand,  the  action  code is an ASCII character in the range 'a',
       ..., 'z' or 'A', ..., 'Z' in the ASCII collating sequence, the  following
  definitions are made for the different modifier combinations, provided
 these are actually being defined.	(The table lists the two  possible
  cases:  either  the  single  action code is a lower case letter,
       denoted by 'x' or an upper case letter, denoted by 'Y'.)

	   modifier		   symbol

	   none 		   x		  Y
	   Shift		   X		  y
	   AltGr		   x		  Y
	   Shift+AltGr		   X		  y
	   Control		   Control_x	  Control_y
	   Shift+Control	   Control_x	  Control_y
	   AltGr+Control	   Control_x	  Control_y
	   Shift+AltGr+Control	   Control_x	  Control_y
	   Alt			   Meta_x	  Meta_Y
	   Shift+Alt		   Meta_X	  Meta_y
	   AltGr+Alt		   Meta_x	  Meta_Y
	   Shift+AltGr+Alt	   Meta_X	  Meta_y
	   Control+Alt		   Meta_Control_x Meta_Control_y
	   Shift+Control+Alt	   Meta_Control_x Meta_Control_y
	   AltGr+Control+Alt	   Meta_Control_x Meta_Control_y
	   Shift+AltGr+Control+Alt Meta_Control_x Meta_Control_y


       All the previous forms of key definition lines always  define  all  the
       M+1  possible  modifier	combinations  being  defined, whether the line
       actually contains that many action codes or not. There is,  however,  a
       variation  of the definition syntax for defining only single actions to
       a particular modifier combination of a key. This is especially  useful,
       if  you load a keymap which doesn't match your needs in only some modifier
 combinations, like AltGr+function keys. You can then make a  small
       local  file  redefining only those modifier combinations and loading it
       after the main file. The syntax of this form is:

       { plain | <modifier sequence> } keycode keynumber = keysym

	      plain keycode 14 = BackSpace
	      control alt keycode 83 = Boot
	      alt keycode 105 = Decr_Console
	      alt keycode 106 = Incr_Console

       Using "plain" will define only the base entry of a key  (i.e.  the  one
       with  no  modifiers  in effect) without affecting the bindings of other
       modifier combinations of that key.


       In addition to comments and key definition lines, the keymap files  can
       contain string definitions. These are used to define what each function
       key action code sends. The syntax of string definitions is:

	      string keysym = text

       text can contain literal characters, octal character codes in the  format
  of	backslash  followed by up to three octal digits, and the three
       escape sequences \n, \\, and \",  for  newline,	backslash  and	quote,


       Then there may also be compose definitions. They have syntax

	      compose 'char' 'char' to 'char'
       and  describe  how  two	bytes are combined to form a third one (when a
       dead accent or compose key is used).  This is used to get accented letters
 and the like on a standard keyboard.

ABBREVIATIONS    [Toc]    [Back]

       Various abbreviations can be used with kbd-0.96 and later.

       strings as usual
	      Defines  the  usual values of the strings (but not the keys they
	      are bound to).

       compose as usual for "iso-8859-1"
	      Defines the usual compose combinations.

	      Whenever some combination is defined as  an  ASCII  symbol,  and
	      there  is a corresponding Alt keymap, define by default the corresponding
 Alt combination as Meta_value.

       To find out what keysyms there are available for use in keymaps	files,
       use the command

	      dumpkeys --long-info

       Unfortunately,  there  is  currently no description of what each symbol
       does. It has to be guessed from the name or figured out from the kernel

EXAMPLES    [Toc]    [Back]

       (Be  careful  to use a keymaps line, like the first line of `dumpkeys`,
       or "keymaps 0-15" or so.)

       The following entry exchanges the left Control key and  the  Caps  Lock
       key on the keyboard:

	      keycode  58 = Control
	      keycode  29 = Caps_Lock

       Key  number 58 is normally the Caps Lock key, and key number 29 is normally
 the Control key.

       The following entry sets the Shift and Caps Lock keys  to  behave  more
       nicely, like in older typewriters. That is, pressing Caps Lock key once
       or more sets the keyboard in CapsLock state and pressing either of  the
       Shift keys releases it.

	      keycode  42 = Uncaps_Shift
	      keycode  54 = Uncaps_Shift
	      keycode  58 = Caps_On

       The  following  entry  sets  the layout of the edit pad in the enhanced
       keyboard to be more like that in the VT200 series terminals:

	      keycode 102 = Insert
	      keycode 104 = Remove
	      keycode 107 = Prior
	      shift keycode 107 = Scroll_Backward
	      keycode 110 = Find
	      keycode 111 = Select
	      control alt   keycode 111 = Boot
	      control altgr keycode 111 = Boot

       Here's an example to bind the string "du\ndf\n" to the key AltGr-D.  We
       use the "spare" action code F100 not normally bound to any key.

	      altgr keycode 32 = F100
	      string F100 = "du\ndf\n"

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       loadkeys(1), dumpkeys(1), showkey(1), xmodmap(1).

Console tools			  09 Oct 1997			    KEYMAPS(5)
[ Back ]
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