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I've got ubuntu running on chromebook using crouton.

How do I map the search key to the ctrl action.

Similar to this, swapping the caps lock key and the ctrl key.

/usr/bin/setxkbmap -option "ctrl:swapcaps"
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I have Acer C720 Chromebook, here is what I did to map search key to control

You can use xev to check the keycode for your search key, and which key it is mapped to. For my chromebook, search key is mapped to Super_L by default.

First, create file .Xmodmap at your $HOME directory with content below

clear control
clear mod4
keycode 133 = Super_L
add control  = Control_L Control_R Super_L
add mod4 = Hyper_L Super_R

Next, need to make sure xmodmap load ~/.Xmodmap file when you start you linux using sudo startxfce4 in chromebook terminal. Create file ~/.xinitrc with content below

if [-s ~/.Xmodmap]; then
    xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap
fi

Last step is to logout your xfce environment and restart it from chromebook terminal.

For reference, you can look at Section Special keys/signals from Here And another reference from crouton: Here

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