When using the full-screen console mode in Mac OS X accessed by entering the username '>console', I would like to use a different keyboard layout and would like support for colors.

The terminal seems to be set to vt100 while Terminal windows use xterm-color, but I can't figure out how to change that (if that is even the way to enable color).

I also grep'd for loadkeys under /etc to try to determine where the keyboard layout was being loaded, but came up with nothing.

  • Earn a bounty for answering the keyboard layout part of this question. – Evan Krall Sep 19 '11 at 1:04

For your keyboard layout you might find you'd have to manually remap keys; sadly I'm only familiar with doing this for an X11 manager. Perhaps that notion will set you in the right direction.

For your coloring needs, type this in:

export TERM=xterm-color

It will switch your term to xterm-color like Terminal, then try ls -G (color mode for ls).

| improve this answer | |
  • Setting the TERM worked and setting it in my .bash_profile made it permanent. I tried kbdcontrol to remap the keys but it doesn't seem to be available. – dma Oct 29 '09 at 4:21

@Evan, does this solve your bounty?

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  • Unfortunately, no. It does change the keyboard layout for the login window, but the >console terminal remains in qwerty. – Evan Krall Sep 25 '11 at 4:15
  • damn. well it was worth a shot. – peelman Sep 25 '11 at 19:39

From How to change the language displayed in the login window :

The text of the login window will be displayed in the language that was selected when Mac OS X was installed, or the language selected the first time Mac OS X was started on a new Mac. Learn how you can change the language used for the login window. Products Affected

There are two ways to change the language of the login window:

  • Reinstall Mac OS X and select the desired language during installation, or
  • Use the steps below depending on your version of Mac OS X.

Mac OS X v10.4 or later

  1. Login as a user who has an administrator account.
  2. Open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities/).
  3. Type or paste this command in Terminal:
    sudo languagesetup
    and press Return.
  4. When prompted for a password, enter your account password and press Return again. If your user has no password (a blank password) and you are using Mac OS X 10.5 or later, see Mac OS X 10.5 or later: sudo command requires a non-blank admin password.
  5. A list of available languages will be displayed.
    Type the number that appears next to the language you want to use, then press Return.
  6. Quit Terminal.
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  • This may work for switching languages but unfortunately doesn't have an option for keyboard layouts like Dvorak. – Evan Krall Sep 25 '11 at 4:16
  • Dvorak was not specified in the question, but it is strange that you don't have it. Does it exist in System Preferences ? – harrymc Sep 25 '11 at 7:16
  • It's possible to change it in System Prefs, but nothing seems to affect the >console keyboard layout. – Evan Krall Sep 25 '11 at 20:28

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