loadkeys - Unix, Linux Command
loadkeys - load keyboard translation tables
-c --clearcompose ] [
-d --default ] [
-h --help ] [
-m --mktable ] [
-s --clearstrings ] [
-v --verbose ] [
loadkeys reads the file or files specified by
filename.... Its main purpose is to load the kernel keymap for the console.
RESET TO DEFAULT
--default ) option is given,
loadkeys loads a default keymap, probably the file
defkeymap.map either in
/lib/kbd/keymaps or in
/usr/src/linux/drivers/char. (Probably the former was user-defined, while the latter
is a qwerty keyboard map for PCs - maybe not what was desired.)
Sometimes, with a strange keymap loaded (with the minus on
some obscure unknown modifier combination) it is easier to
type loadkeys defkeymap.
LOAD KERNEL KEYMAP
The main function of
loadkeys is to load or modify the keyboard drivers translation tables.
When specifying the file names, standard input can be denoted
by dash (-). If no file is specified, the data is read from
the standard input.
For many countries and keyboard types appropriate keymaps
are available already, and a command like loadkeys uk might
do what you want. On the other hand, it is easy to construct
ones own keymap. The user has to tell what symbols belong
to each key. She can find the keycode for a key by use of
while the keymap format is given in
and can also be seen from the output of
LOAD KERNEL ACCENT TABLE
If the input file does not contain any compose key definitions,
the kernel accent table is left unchanged, unless the
--clearcompose ) option is given, in which case the kernel accent table is emptied.
If the input file does contain compose key definitions, then all
old definitions are removed, and replaced by the specified new entries.
The kernel accent table is a sequence of (by default 68) entries
describing how dead diacritical signs and compose keys behave.
For example, a line
compose , c to ccedilla
means that <ComposeKey><,><c> must be combined to <ccedilla>.
The current content of this table can be see
using dumpkeys --compose-only.
LOAD KERNEL STRING TABLE
--clearstrings ) clears the kernel string table. If this option is not given,
loadkeys will only add or replace strings, not remove them.
(Thus, the option -s is required to reach a well-defined state.)
The kernel string table is a sequence of strings
with names like F31. One can make function key F5 (on
an ordinary PC keyboard) produce the text Hello!,
and Shift+F5 Goodbye! using lines
keycode 63 = F70 F71
string F70 = "Hello!"
string F71 = "Goodbye!"
in the keymap.
The default bindings for the function keys are certain
escape sequences mostly inspired by the VT100 terminal.
CREATE KERNEL SOURCE TABLE
--mktable ) option is given
loadkeys prints to the standard output a file that may be used as
/usr/src/linux /drivers /char /defkeymap.c, specifying the default key bindings for a kernel
(and does not modify the current keymap).
-h --help ||
loadkeys prints its version number and a short usage message to the programs
standard error output and exits.
Note that anyone having read access to
/dev/console can run
loadkeys and thus change the keyboard layout, possibly making it unusable. Note
that the keyboard translation table is common for all the virtual
consoles, so any changes to the keyboard bindings affect all the virtual
Note that because the changes affect all the virtual consoles, they also
outlive your session. This means that even at the login prompt the key
bindings may not be what the user expects.
default directory for keymaps
default kernel keymap