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

       showkey  - examine the scan codes and keycodes sent by the

       showkey [ -[hVskm] | --help | --version  |  --scancodes  |
       --keycodes | --keymap ] [ -t N | --timeout=N ]

       showkey  prints  to standard output either the scan codes,
       the   keycode,   or   the   character    of    each    key
       pressed/released.  The  program  runs until 10 seconds (or
       the amount of  time  specified  by  the  --timeout  or  -t
       option)  has  elapsed  since the last key press or release
       event, or  until  it  receives  a  suitable  signal,  like
       SIGTERM, from another process.

       showkey  has  three  modes of operation, scancode dumping,
       keycode dumping, and keymap testing, selected by a command
       line option (see below).

       -h --help
              showkey  prints  to  the  standard error output its
              version number, a short usage message, then  exits.

       -V --version
              showkey  prints  to  the  standard error output its
              version number, then exits.

       -s --scancodes
              Starts showkey in scan code dump mode.

              In this mode, showkey prints in hexadecimal  format
              each  byte  received from the keyboard to the stan-
              dard output. A new line is printed when an interval
              of  about  0.1  seconds  occurs  between  the bytes
              received, or when the internal receive buffer fills
              up.  This  can  be  used to determine roughly, what
              byte sequences the keyboard  sends  at  once  on  a
              given key press. The scan code dumping mode is pri-
              marily intended for debugging the  keyboard  driver
              or other low level interfaces. As such it shouldn't
              be of much interest to the regular end-user.

       -k --keycodes
              Starts showkey in keycode dump mode.  This  is  the
              default, when no command is specified is specified.

              In this mode, showkey prints to the standard output
              the keycode number or each key pressed or released.
              The kind of the event, press or  release,  is  also
              reported.   Keycodes  are  numbers  assigned by the
              kernel to each individual physical key.  Every  key
              has  always  only  one  associated  keycode number,
              whether the keyboard sends single or multiple  scan
              codes when pressing it. Using showkey in this mode,
              you can find out what numbers to use in  your  per-
              sonalized keymap files.

       -m --keymap
              Starts showkey in keycode dump mode.

              In  this  mode,  showkey displays the characters as
              they are translated by the kernel using the current
              keymap. It may be useful to writers of install pro-
              grams, to allow the user to  test  a  new  keyboard
              before really installing it.

       -t N --timeout=N
              This  option  changes the timeout (in seconds) from
              its default of 10s.

       showkey was developped by Risto Kankkunen for kbd-0.81.

       It was later extended by Yann  Dirson  <>
       to  support the --keymap command and the --timeout option.

       The --keymap mode should report action keys by  displaying
       what  action should be performed, instead of executing the

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

Console tools              09 Oct 1997                          1