Section: Console-setup User's Manual (5)
keyboard - keyboard configuration file
file describes the properties of the keyboard. It is read by
in order to configure the keyboard on the console. In Debian systems
the default keyboard layout is described in
and it is shared between X and the console.
The specification of the keyboard layout in the
file is based on the
options XkbModel, XkbLayout, XkbVariant and XkbOptions.
Unfortunately, there is little documentation how to use them. Description of all possible values for these options can be found in the file
You might want to read ``The XKB Configuration Guide'' by Kamil
Toman and Ivan U. Pascal:
Other possible readings are:
The complete XKB-specification can be found on
consists of variable settings in
Only one assignment is allowed per line. Comments (starting with '#')
are also allowed.
The following variables can be set.
keyboard model name. Default:
on most platforms.
keyboard layout name. This is usually the country or language type of
the keyboard. Default:
on most platforms
keyboard variant components. These can be used to further specify the
keyboard layout details. Default: not set.
keyboard option components. Options usually relate to the behavior
of the special keys
(<Shift>, <Control>, <Alt>, <CapsLock>, etc.)
Default: not set.
Determines the behavior of
keys on the console. Allowed values:
bs, del and guess.
In most cases you can specify
here, in which case the current terminal settings and the kernel of
your operating system will be used to determine the correct value.
specifies VT100-conformant behavior:
specifies VT220-conformant behavior:
will generate a special function sequence.
Usually this variable will be unset but if you don't want to use a
layout on the console, you can specify an alternative keymap here.
Specify a file that is suitable as input for
on Linux or for
The standard location of the
Description of all available keyboard models, layouts, variants and
options is available in
In most cases, in
you will find several keymaps that can be used with the variable
In Debian systems, changes in
do not become immediately visible to X. You should either reboot the
system, or use
udevadm trigger --subsystem-match=input --action=change
In order to activate the changes on the console, run
When a triple-layout is used on the console, i.e. a layout with three
groups, then the group toggling happens in the following way: Group1
-> Group2 -> Group1 -> Group3.
On FreeBSD triple- and quadruple-layouts are not supported on the
console (only the first and the second layout are taken into account).
is not supported on the console.
The following configuration will give you the standard
will act as a compose key
will act as third control key
In the following configuration the right
will toggle between
layout. The option
is ignored on the console but in X in means to use the ScrollLock
keyboard led as indicator for the current layout (US or Greek).
In the following configuration the
key combination will toggle
between French keyboard
without dead keys
keyboard. The right
key will be a compose-key
and the right
key will function as AltGr