Changing non-printing keys in keyboard layout

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at
Mon May 9 02:29:00 PDT 2011

On Mon, May 9, 2011 at 12:11, Dirk Wallenstein <halsmit at> wrote:
>> Thanks, Dirk. Is <AB05> called a keycode? I will use that term for
>> purpose of discussion below, please tell me the correct term if it's
>> not!
> It's a "symbolic name" and equals a keycode.  They are assigned in the
> keycode section, and everywhere else these symbolic names are used
> instead of numbers.

Thank you.

> As long as you are testing I would recommend working with a complete
> keymap. You can save the current map in a file with:
>  xkbcomp $DISPLAY keymap.xkb
> and load it after editing with:
>  xkbcomp keymap.xkb $DISPLAY

Great, thanks. I won't edit that as I need the standard US layout and
some others to work properly as well. But that should get me the info
that I need to reassign the modifiers for the Noah layout. Thank you!

> At the top of the file is the keycode section where symbolic names are
> assigned to keycodes.  You can easily exchange keys there.
> Find out keycodes by executing 'xev' and translate them to symbolic
> names to find the configuration for it. For example:
>>     key <AB06> { [ Super_L,       Super_R     ] };
>>     key <LCTL> { [ Control_L                  ] };
>>     key <AB05> { [ 5                          ] };
> Inside the brackets are keysyms.  They can be translated to strings,
> like '5' in the case of the keysym XK_5, or they are tied to vmods like
> in the case of Super_L.  A modifier_map entry would connect such a vmod
> to a real modifier and thereby activate it.

Thank you for your very patient, knowledable help. I think I've got
enough info to get this out the door now, I will certainly update this
thread soon.

Have a great day!

Dotan Cohen

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