LOADKEYS(1)            Linux User's Manual            LOADKEYS(1)

       loadkeys - load keyboard translation tables

       loadkeys  [  -d --default ] [ -h --help ] [ -q --quiet ] [
       -v --verbose [ -v --verbose ]...] [ -m --mktable  ]  [  -c
       --clearcompose ] [ -s --clearstrings ] [ filename... ]

       The  loadkeys program reads the file or files specified by

       Its main purpose is to load the kernel keymap for the con-

       If  the -d (or --default ) option is given, loadkeys loads
       a default keymap, probably the file  defkeymap.map  either
       in  /usr/share/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'.

       The main function of loadkeys is to  load  or  modify  the
       keyboard driver's 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

       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 one's own keymap. The user has to tell what sym-
       bols belong to each key. She can find the  keycode  for  a
       key by use of showkey(1), while the keymap format is given
       in keymaps(5) and can also be  seen  from  the  output  of

       If the input file does not contain any compose key defini-
       tions, the kernel accent table is left  unchanged,  unless
       the -c (or --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 defini-
       tions 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'.

       The  option  -s  (or  --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 `Good-
       bye!' 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

       If the -m (or --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
              print the version number and a short usage  message
              to the programs standard error output and exit.

       -v --verbose
              Print  details  about  changes.   If  used  several
              times, be even more verbose.

       -q --quiet
              Do not print standard messages.

       -c --clearcompose
              Clear  the  kernel's  compose  table  (also  called
              accent  table). If this option is not given, and if
              this file does not contain any compose key  defini-
              tions,  the kernel compose table is left unchanged.

       -s --clearstrings
              Clear the kernel string table. If  this  option  is
              not  given,  loadkeys  will  only  add  or  replace
              strings, not remove them.

       /usr/lib/kbd/keymaps/ default directory for keymap  files.

       /usr/lib/kbd/keymaps/defkeymap.kmap  default keymap loaded
       by -d option.

       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
       consoles simultaneously.

       Note  that because the changes affect all the virtual con-
       soles, they also outlive your  session.  This  means  that
       even  at the login prompt the key bindings may not be what
       the user expects.

       The default keymap should be the default  keymap  compiled
       in      the      kernel      (ie.       the     one     in

       dumpkeys(1), kbd_mode(1), keymaps(5).

Console tools              09 Oct 1997                          1