xkb: how to map symbol Meta to key Alt

Maciej Pilichowski bluedzins at wp.pl
Mon Mar 21 07:41:50 PDT 2011

On Monday 21 March 2011 09:51:12 Dirk Wallenstein wrote:

Thank you for your response. Btw. I am subscriber, no need to CC.

> Hm, I hope I did understand correctly.  You want to use the Alt key
> to generate characters and not use any of the desktop functionality
> tied to it.

That's right. 

> If clients interpret Alt and Meta alike, you have to 
> use another way. 

It didn't happen in years.

> Do you have a national layout available that 
> produces all the chars you want with ISO_Level3_Shift (aka AltGr)? 

With ISO_Level3_Shift, yes. With AltGr -- no. This is the whole point, 
to get rid of it.

> If so you can simply put that modifier onto the Alt key.

I am exactly asking for this -- how to do it?

Three remarks:

a) I would prefer modify keycode table file (previously xfree86) 
because this way, all layouts would see alt-key as meta.

b) the reason for my "odd" request is this: being forced to press 
right Alt-key only to get national characters is so weird for me, 
that I decided to use both Alt-keys to produce those characters. But 
Alt (symbol) is hardcoded in X11 to get accelerators. Because of that 
I have to move that symbol somewhere else. The perfect place is 
So now, I would have Alt-symbol on CapsLock-key, and Meta-symbol on 
both Alt-keys. So I would have symmetric keyboard, 100% functionality 
and much more productive layout, I used it for years, and it proved 
its quality.

No wonder, I would like to still use it in openSUSE 11.4.

c) I learned how to make a dump of the layout to take a peek how X11 
sees my layout. Both Alt-key entries were divided for Group1 and 
Group2. Group1 looks like from X11 original symbol file (pc) and 
Group2 is coming from me. So it looks like I am only able to add 
symbols, not redefine keys -- despite they fact I used "replace" 
keyword in definition.
But if I could alter keycodes (see (a)), this would solve this 

Kind regards,

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