Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've installed a bare-bones Debian Sid under VirtualBox on a Windows 7 laptop. I've done this so I have a handy Linux development box when I'll be on the road next month. However I'm having trouble getting the key mapping to work correctly. My (shift+2) " and @ (shift + ') and | (shift + ) keys don't work.

I've tried this under the console as well as withing a rxvt terminal under a window manager on the guest. I've run "dpkg-reconfigure keyboard configuration" and set my keyboard up as both 101 and 104 generic PC keyboards with GB key-mappings but they all exhibit the same broken behaviour.

According to showkeys:

Keycode 54 (shift) + 40 is @ (should be ")
Keycode 54 (shift) + 3 is " (should be @)
Keycode 54 (shift) + 43 is ~ (should be |)

So are the keycodes going from VirtualBox to the console wrong or has the keymaping failed to take on the guest?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Obviously solved this 5 minutes after posting the question. It turned out the Windows 7 laptop had been configured for South Africa. Although this didn't affect the keys sent to notepad (which worked as I expected) it did mess up Virtual Box. Once I fixed the keyboard in Windows "Region and Language" everything worked properly.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.