Keymaps and how to make them

Florian E. Teply usenet at
Sun Oct 8 04:49:51 PDT 2006

Hash: SHA1

Ken Moffat wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 07, 2006 at 03:36:03PM +0000, Florian E. Teply wrote:
>> Hash: SHA1
>> Hello LFS folks,
>> Currently i'm into bringing Linux to life on my trusty old Apple
>> Powerbook G3. While that 'book alone is quite a bit off the beaten track
>> of those x86 stuff, the keyboard is even more so. Apart from that, i'm
>> not running an english keyboard layout but a german one...
>> After quite a bit of research on the net i already found some generic
>> german keymap for mac keyboards, but it isn't more than that: generic.
>> The Problem here is, that laptops usually have keyboard layouts that are
>>  different from the standard desktop sort of stuff. So the keymap i
>> found makes the plain alphanumerical keys work, but i'm missing a couple
>> of "special" signs like the "@" sign or the Unix Pipe...
>> Could possibly someone give me a direction on how to edit those keymaps??
>  If you are talking about the console keyboard, I can possibly help.
> X is an entirely different can of worms -  I might have some old
> debian URLs, but my current impression is that things which used to
> work in X no longer work with 7.1 (e.g. .Xmodmap).  Also, at the
> moment there is an ongoing thread on debian-powerpc about trying to
> fix the X keyboard definitions for macs, and it looks as if there is
> a lot of variation between different machines.
Umm, well i'm talking about both the console and X. Basically i got it
working both in the console and in X, with less flaws in the console.
Right now it looks to me as if i just have to add some keycodes for the
characters missing. There are more missing chars in X than in the
console though, maybe it's got to do with the installed fonts as well.

>  I'm not familiar with the details of the various models, but my
> impression is that apple laptops give a mostly-American layout, and
> probably don't provide certain keys because they aren't needed for
> mac graphical apps (e.g. on the UK layout we get a '£' but not a
> '#').

As far as my impression goes, Apple has managed to put in every new
model of laptop another different keyboard. Didn't know Apple comps are
THAT special ;-)
>  My first mac was a G4 iBook2 (the motherboard has now died), and I
> can remember many a happy hour spent with 'showkey', and searching
> through the keyboard tables for the names of the characters.
> Basically, it's a matter of copying the current keymap to a new
> name, then editing it.  Try a change, load the new map with
> 'loadkeys', if it doesn't help load the old map again, if it did
> help, go on to the next change.  Sometimes, you might have to reboot
> or power-cycle if you really screw it up and can't type all the
> letters you need to restore the original map. That's why you don't
> want to use the new version as the default until it is right!

Good pointer! At least now i know what to do this evening ;) Looks like
tomorrow i'll have a really custom-made keymap ;-) But, heck, it's me
who's got to work with this baby ;-)
>  My old British keytable is at
>  - they aren't directly applicable, but might be instructive.
> BTW, at the risk of telling you what you already know, the 'delete'
> key might be on 'Fn' + '.' (a bit easier than using backspace all the
> time).

Well, i still gotta work out how to include those modifier keys, but
thanks for the hint.

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