XMODMAP(1)                  General Commands Manual                 XMODMAP(1)

       xmodmap  - utility for modifying keymaps and pointer button mappings in

       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 usually 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

               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  its  version
               information and exit.

               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

       -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.   This is the default mode of
               operation if no other mode options are specified.

       -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.

       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.

       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  charac-
       ters  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 match-
               ing 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 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.

               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).

               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.
               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 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-
       %  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 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

       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
       ! 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 events

       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 Microsystems.

X Version 11                     xmodmap 1.0.9                      XMODMAP(1)
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