Provided by: kbd_1.12-13_i386 bug


       keymaps - keyboard table descriptions for loadkeys and dumpkeys


       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 (\).


       A keymap can include other keymaps using the syntax

              include "pathname"


       A character set definition line is of the form:

              charset "iso-8859-x"

       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
       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  wich  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,  unicode or
       symbolic notation.  The numeric notations use the same format  as  with
       keynumber.   Unicode  notation  is  "U+"  followed  by four hexadecimal
       digits.  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

       , e.g.,
              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, a keymap 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

              composechar’ ’chartochar’
       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.


       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.

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


       (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"


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

                                 24 April 1998                      KEYMAPS(5)