xmodmap



XMODMAP(1)                                                          XMODMAP(1)




NAME

       xmodmap  - utility for modifying keymaps and pointer button mappings in
       X


SYNOPSIS

       xmodmap [-options ...] [filename]


DESCRIPTION

       The xmodmap program is used to edit and display the  keyboard  modifier
       map  and  keymap  table that are used by client applications to convert
       event keycodes into keysyms.  It is usually run from the user’s session
       startup  script to configure the keyboard according to personal tastes.


OPTIONS

       The following options may be used with xmodmap:

       -display display
               This option specifies the host and display to use.

       -help   This option indicates that a brief description of  the  command
               line arguments should be printed on the standard error channel.
               This will be done whenever an unhandled argument  is  given  to
               xmodmap.

       -grammar
               This  option  indicates  that  a  help  message  describing the
               expression grammar used in files and with -e expressions should
               be printed on the standard error.

       -verbose
               This  option indicates that xmodmap should print logging infor-
               mation as it parses its input.

       -quiet  This option  turns  off  the  verbose  logging.   This  is  the
               default.

       -n      This  option  indicates that xmodmap should not change the map-
               pings, but should display what it would do, like  make(1)  does
               when given this option.

       -e expression
               This option specifies an expression to be executed.  Any number
               of expressions may be specified from the command line.

       -pm     This option indicates that the current modifier map  should  be
               printed on the standard output.

       -pk     This  option  indicates that the current keymap table should be
               printed on the standard output.

       -pke    This option indicates that the current keymap table  should  be
               printed  on the standard output in the form of expressions that
               can be fed back to xmodmap.

       -pp     This option indicates that the current pointer  map  should  be
               printed on the standard output.

       -       A lone dash means that the standard input should be used as the
               input file.

       The filename specifies a file containing xmodmap expressions to be exe-
       cuted.   This  file is usually kept in the user’s home directory with a
       name like .xmodmaprc.


EXPRESSION GRAMMAR

       The xmodmap program reads a list of expressions  and  parses  them  all
       before  attempting  to  execute any of them.  This makes it possible to
       refer to keysyms that are being redefined in a natural way without hav-
       ing to worry as much about name conflicts.

       keycode NUMBER = KEYSYMNAME ...
               The list of keysyms is assigned to the indicated keycode (which
               may be specified in decimal, hex or octal and can be determined
               by  running  the  xev  program).   Up  to  eight keysyms may be
               attached to a key, however the last four are not  used  in  any
               major  X  server implementation.  The first keysym is used when
               no modifier key is pressed in conjunction with  this  key,  the
               second  with  Shift, the third when the Mode_switch key is used
               with this key and the fourth  when  both  the  Mode_switch  and
               Shift keys are used.

       keycode any = KEYSYMNAME ...
               If  no  existing key has the specified list of keysyms assigned
               to it, a spare key on the keyboard is selected and the  keysyms
               are  assigned  to  it.  The list of keysyms may be specified in
               decimal, hex or octal.

       keysym KEYSYMNAME = KEYSYMNAME ...
               The KEYSYMNAME on the left hand side is translated into  match-
               ing  keycodes  used to perform the corresponding set of keycode
               expressions.  The list of keysym names  may  be  found  in  the
               header  file  <X11/keysymdef.h> (without the XK_ prefix) or the
               keysym database /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/XKeysymDB.  Note that if the
               same  keysym  is bound to multiple keys, the expression is exe-
               cuted for each matching keycode.

       clear MODIFIERNAME
               This removes all entries in the modifier map for the given mod-
               ifier,  where valid name are: Shift, Lock, Control, Mod1, Mod2,
               Mod3, Mod4, and Mod5 (case does not matter in  modifier  names,
               although  it  does  matter  for all other names).  For example,
               ‘‘clear Lock’’ will remove all any keys that were bound to  the
               shift lock modifier.

       add MODIFIERNAME = KEYSYMNAME ...
               This  adds  all  keys containing the given keysyms to the indi-
               cated modifier map.  The keysym names are evaluated  after  all
               input expressions are read to make it easy to write expressions
               to swap keys (see the EXAMPLES section).

       remove MODIFIERNAME = KEYSYMNAME ...
               This removes all keys containing the  given  keysyms  from  the
               indicated modifier map.  Unlike add, the keysym names are eval-
               uated as the line is read in.  This allows you to  remove  keys
               from  a  modifier  without having to worry about whether or not
               they have been reassigned.

       pointer = default
               This sets the pointer map back to its default settings  (button
               1 generates a code of 1, button 2 generates a 2, etc.).

       pointer = NUMBER ...
               This  sets  the  pointer  map  to  contain the indicated button
               codes.  The list always starts with the first physical  button.

       Lines that begin with an exclamation point (!) are taken as comments.

       If  you  want  to  change  the binding of a modifier key, you must also
       remove it from the appropriate modifier map.


EXAMPLES

       Many pointers are designed such that the first button is pressed  using
       the  index  finger  of the right hand.  People who are left-handed fre-
       quently find that it is more comfortable to reverse  the  button  codes
       that  get  generated  so  that  the primary button is pressed using the
       index finger of the left hand.  This  could  be  done  on  a  3  button
       pointer as follows:

            %  xmodmap -e "pointer = 3 2 1"


       Many  applications  support the notion of Meta keys (similar to Control
       keys except that Meta is held down instead of Control).  However,  some
       servers  do  not have a Meta keysym in the default keymap table, so one
       needs to be added by hand.  The following command will attach  Meta  to
       the  Multi-language key (sometimes labeled Compose Character).  It also
       takes advantage of the fact that applications that need a Meta key sim-
       ply  need  to get the keycode and don’t require the keysym to be in the
       first column of the keymap table.  This means  that  applications  that
       are  looking for a Multi_key (including the default modifier map) won’t
       notice any change.

            %  xmodmap -e "keysym Multi_key = Multi_key Meta_L"


       Similarly, some keyboards have an Alt key but no  Meta  key.   In  that
       case the following may be useful:

            %  xmodmap -e "keysym Alt_L = Meta_L Alt_L"


       One  of  the more simple, yet convenient, uses of xmodmap is to set the
       keyboard’s "rubout" key to generate an  alternate  keysym.   This  fre-
       quently  involves  exchanging Backspace with Delete to be more comfort-
       able to the user.  If the ttyModes resource in xterm is  set  as  well,
       all terminal emulator windows will use the same key for erasing charac-
       ters:

            %  xmodmap -e "keysym BackSpace = Delete"
            %  echo "XTerm*ttyModes:  erase ^?" | xrdb -merge


       Some keyboards do not automatically generate less than and greater than
       characters  when  the  comma  and period keys are shifted.  This can be
       remedied with xmodmap by resetting  the  bindings  for  the  comma  and
       period with the following scripts:

            !
            ! make shift-, be < and shift-. be >
            !
            keysym comma = comma less
            keysym period = period greater


       One  of  the more irritating differences between keyboards is the loca-
       tion of the Control and Shift Lock keys.  A common use of xmodmap is to
       swap these two keys as follows:

            !
            ! Swap Caps_Lock and Control_L
            !
            remove Lock = Caps_Lock
            remove Control = Control_L
            keysym Control_L = Caps_Lock
            keysym Caps_Lock = Control_L
            add Lock = Caps_Lock
            add Control = Control_L


       The keycode command is useful for assigning the same keysym to multiple
       keycodes.  Although unportable, it also  makes  it  possible  to  write
       scripts  that  can  reset the keyboard to a known state.  The following
       script sets the backspace key to  generate  Delete  (as  shown  above),
       flushes  all  existing  caps lock bindings, makes the CapsLock key be a
       control key, make F5 generate Escape, and makes Break/Reset be a  shift
       lock.

            !
            ! On the HP, the following keycodes have key caps as listed:
            !
            !     101  Backspace
            !      55  Caps
            !      14  Ctrl
            !      15  Break/Reset
            !      86  Stop
            !      89  F5
            !
            keycode 101 = Delete
            keycode 55 = Control_R
            clear Lock
            add Control = Control_R
            keycode 89 = Escape
            keycode 15 = Caps_Lock
            add Lock = Caps_Lock



ENVIRONMENT

       DISPLAY to get default host and display number.


SEE ALSO

       X(7x), xev(1), Xlib documentation on key and pointer events


BUGS

       Every  time  a  keycode expression is evaluated, the server generates a
       MappingNotify event on every client.  This can  cause  some  thrashing.
       All  of  the  changes  should  be  batched  together  and done at once.
       Clients that receive keyboard input  and  ignore  MappingNotify  events
       will not notice any changes made to keyboard mappings.

       Xmodmap  should  generate  "add" and "remove" expressions automatically
       whenever a keycode that is already bound to a modifier is changed.

       There should be a way to have the remove expression accept keycodes  as
       well  as keysyms for those times when you really mess up your mappings.


AUTHOR

       Jim Fulton, MIT X Consortium, rewritten  from  an  earlier  version  by
       David Rosenthal of Sun Microsystems.




                                                                    XMODMAP(1)

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