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XMODMAP(1)                           General Commands Manual                           XMODMAP(1)

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

       xmodmap [-options ...] [filename]

       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  usu‐
       ally  run  from  the  user's session startup script to configure the keyboard according to
       personal tastes.

       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.

               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.

               This  option  indicates that xmodmap should print logging information 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 mappings, but should dis‐
               play 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 stan‐
               dard  output.   This is the default mode of operation if no other mode options are

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

       -pke    This option indicates that the current keymap table should be printed on the stan‐
               dard 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  stan‐
               dard 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 executed.  This file is
       usually kept in the user's home directory with a name like .xmodmaprc.

       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 having to worry as much about name conflicts.

       The list of keysym names may be found in the header file  <X11/keysymdef.h>  (without  the
       XK_  prefix),  supplemented  by  the  keysym  database  /usr/share/X11/XKeysymDB.  Keysyms
       matching Unicode characters may  be  specified  as  "U0020"  to  "U007E"  and  "U00A0"  to
       "U10FFFF" for all possible Unicode characters.

       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 matching keycodes used to
               perform the corresponding set of keycode  expressions.   Note  that  if  the  same
               keysym  is  bound  to  multiple keys, the expression is executed for each matching

       clear MODIFIERNAME
               This removes all entries in the modifier map for the given modifier,  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 exam‐
               ple,  ``clear  Lock''  will  remove all any keys that were bound to the shift lock

               This adds all keys containing the given keysyms to  the  indicated  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).

               This removes all keys containing the given keysyms  from  the  indicated  modifier
               map.   Unlike  add,  the  keysym names are evaluated 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.  Setting a button code to 0 disables events
               from that 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.

       Many pointers are designed such that the first button is pressed using the index finger of
       the right hand.  People who are left-handed frequently 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 simply 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 frequently involves exchanging Backspace with
       Delete to be more comfortable to the user.  If the ttyModes resource in xterm  is  set  as
       well, all terminal emulator windows will use the same key for erasing characters:
       %  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 location of the Control
       and CapsLock 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

       This example can be run again to swap the keys back to their previous assignments.

       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 key‐
       board 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

       DISPLAY to get default host and display number.

       X(7), xev(1), setxkbmap(1), XStringToKeysym(3), Xlib  documentation  on  key  and  pointer

       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.

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

X Version 11                              xmodmap 1.0.8                                XMODMAP(1)

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