I'm using a Toshiba Tecra M6 laptop, running Linux Mint as my default OS. I also have VMware player (6.5.0) installed to test some of the applications on Windows.

However, it really annoyed me when VMware does not provide proper keyboard mapping. My downward arrow would be mapped as the Windows key, while the Windows key does not work at all.

My PgDn key is mapped wrongly too.

2 Answers 2


Although it references connecting remotely, try following this guide from VMware:

If your keyboard works correctly with a local X server, and you just want the same behavior with a remote X server (which is also an XFree86 server running on a PC), just power off the virtual machine and close the VMware Workstation window, then add the line

xkeymap.usekeycodeMapIfXFree86 = true

to the virtual machine configuration file or to ~/.vmware/config. Make this change on the host machine, where you run the virtual machine, not on the machine with the remote X server.

If you are using an XFree86-based server that VMware Workstation does not recognize as an XFree86 server, use this instead:

xkeymap.usekeycodeMap = true

There is also a more detailed explanation which suggests the following:

Using a text editor to add configuration settings to the virtual machine's configuration file.

xkeymap.usekeycodeMapIfXFree86 = true

Use key code mapping if you are using an XFree86 server, even if it is remote.

xkeymap.usekeycodeMap = true

Always use key code mapping regardless of server type.

xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = true

Never use key code mapping.

xkeymap.keycode.<code> = <v-scan code>

If using key code mapping, map key code <code> to <v-scan code>. In this example, <code> must be a decimal number and <v-scan code> should be a C-syntax hexadecimal number (for example, 0x001).

The easiest way to find the X key code for a key is to run xev or xmodmap -pk. Most of the v-scan codes are covered in V-Scan Code Table. The keysym mapping tables described in this section are also helpful.


Have you installed the VMWare Tools?

  • yes, installed. My 26 letters and 10 numbers work fine. but other than that, other keys aren't working at all.
    – segfault
    Jul 17, 2009 at 3:37

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