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How can I get xmonad to match the left alt key and not the right alt key? Ubuntu binds these both to mod1 in xmodmap.

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You can look which keys are the mod keys with "xmodmap -pm". xmodmap also allows to change the mod key configuration. Just enter the apropiate keycodes into ~/.Xmodmap or ~/.xmodmaprc

To find out which keycode the right alt key emits start "xev" like this:

xev | grep -A2 --line-buffered '^KeyRelease' | sed -n '/keycode /s/^.*keycode \([0-9]*\)
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Not sure about alt, but the xmonad config archive has an example that uses Super instead of alt:

import XMonad

main = xmonad defaultConfig
        { modMask = mod4Mask -- Use Super instead of Alt
        , terminal = "urxvt"
        -- more changes

You'll need to compile the new config file, so you'll need haskell if you don't have it already.

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i played with doing this and then swapping the l-alt and win keys, did'nt work out well. I am currently using the win key and its a stretch for my fingers to reach. – Arthur Ulfeldt Nov 10 '09 at 19:53
Your win key is not on the left? – DaveParillo Nov 10 '09 at 21:51
it to the left of the left alt key. just too far away for my fingers to reach comfortabley – Arthur Ulfeldt Nov 11 '09 at 1:46

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