I'd like to exchange Esc and CapsLock in console (not in X, and use
xev), how can I do it?
My OS is Ubuntu.
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The tools to manipulate the keyboard layout on the virtual consoles are
showkey. Read their manpages and inform yourself about their intricacies.
Note that these tools only work in a virtual console, not in a terminal emulator in a graphical environment like gnome. The learn about the difference read this question and answers.
Here is a short guide to do what you want:
Save your current keyboard layout:
$ dumpkeys > backup.kmap
In case something goes wrong you might be able restore your keymap using the command:
$ sudo loadkeys backup.kmap
If the keyboard is so messed up that you can't even do this then your only option not involving ancient kernel magic is to reboot.
Check which keycodes are assigned to your keys:
Now press the ESC key and the CAPSLOCK key. The keycodes should show up on the screen. Note the keycodes. On my system the ESC has the keycode 1 and CAPSLOCK has the keycode 58.
showkey will terminate after 10 seconds of inactivity (at least it does on my ubuntu 10.04).
Note the names of the ESC and CAPSLOCK keys from dumpkeys:
$ dumpkeys | grep 1 ... keycode 1 = Escape ... $ dumpkeys | grep 58 ... keycode 58 = CtrlL_Lock ...
Note the keymap line from dumpkeys:
$ dumpkeys | head -1 keymaps 0-127
Create a keymap file which switches ESC and CAPSLOCK:
keymaps 0-127 keycode 1 = CtrlL_Lock keycode 58 = Escape
Load the keymap:
$ sudo loadkeys swap_esc_capslock.kmap
Test: Testing the CAPSLOCK key is obvious. Just press they CAPSLOCK key and check whether other keys come out capitalized. To test the ESC key you can use CTRL+V followed by ESC. It should print
^[. CTRL+V makes the shell print the next key verbatim instead of interpreting it.
To have this modification load on every reboot, put the following line in your
Information gathered from various pages, including, but not limited to:
sudo setupcon --saveto make changes permanent, rather than editing rc.local. That's essentially the same as
dumpkeys < /dev/tty1 | gzip > /etc/console-setup/cached.kmap.gz
/etc/rc.localsince the path environment variable is not guaranteed to be set at this stage. And
sudois not needed in
rc.local. May 7, 2013 at 20:04
rc.localexecutes every time the system boots. @bukzor's
sudo setupconis not in
rc.local, it's a one-time setup command, which replaces the system default keymap, without adding any runtime startup code. Adding
rc.local, adds extra start up code and duplicates what was already done by the system default loadkeys. The
rc.localmethod could actually be less safe because it depends on a non-standard path to the keymap.
setupcon. It appears that August made the assumption that the
sudo setupcon --savewould go into
rc.localwhich I don't think is true, but if it does, you don't need
rc.local. I think we need more info before updating your answer. The main question is "How to install the modified keymap so that it gets loaded automatically during the boot process?" I really don't know which is a better way,
rc.localor installing a keymap, or even if installing a keymap will work. I have been researching this lately and I'll check back here.
showkeycommand isn't working for me as described. when I run it, I get a warning: "[ if you are trying this under X, it might not work since the X server is also reading /dev/console ]". It still gives me the prompt to "press any key" but no key codes show up, just the character itself (i.e. 'a' appears if I press the 'a' key, and nothing happens at all if I press "Caps Lock"). help!! Sep 27, 2016 at 15:01
ctrl:nocaps instead of
ctrl:swapcaps if you just want to have two capslocks key (capslock by another name is still super useless).
X11: (see also:
sudo vim /etc/default/keyboard XKBOPTIONS="ctrl:swapcaps" udevadm trigger --subsystem-match=input --action=change sudo restart lightdm
Text console: (stolen from setupcon)
#!/bin/sh . /etc/default/console-setup . /etc/default/keyboard ckbcomp $acm_option $rules_option -model "$XKBMODEL" \ "$XKBLAYOUT" "$XKBVARIANT" "$XKBOPTIONS" \ | gzip -9 2>/dev/null >/etc/console-setup/cached.kmap.gz loadkeys /etc/console-setup/cached.kmap.gz
setupconis not known on my system, do you have any info about source?