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 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
               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 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
       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).  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 keycode.

       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 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 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
       %  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

       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 1.0.10                       XMODMAP(1)