KEYBOARDSection: Console-setup User's Manual (5)
Index | Return to Main Contents
NAMEkeyboard - keyboard configuration file
DESCRIPTIONThe keyboard file describes the properties of the keyboard. It is read by setupcon(1) in order to configure the keyboard on the console. In Debian systems the default keyboard layout is described in /etc/default/keyboard and it is shared between X and the console.
The specification of the keyboard layout in the keyboard file is based on the XKB 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 xorg.lst.
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
The file keyboard consists of variable settings in POSIX format:
Only one assignment is allowed per line. Comments (starting with '#') are also allowed.
OPTIONSThe following variables can be set.
keyboard model name. Default:
for most platforms.
keyboard layout name. This is usually the country or language type of
the keyboard. Default:
for 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
FILESThe standard location of the keyboard file is /etc/default/keyboard. Description of all available keyboard models, layouts, variants and options is available in /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/xorg.lst. In most cases, in /usr/share/keymaps/ or /usr/share/syscons/keymaps/ you will find several keymaps that can be used with the variable KMAP.
NOTESIn Debian systems, changes in /etc/default/keyboard do not become immediately visible to X. You should either reboot the system, or use
udevadm trigger --subsystem-match=input --action=change
BUGSWhen a triple-layout is used, i.e. a layout with three XKB groups, then the group toggling happens in the following way: Group1 -> Group2 -> Group1 -> Group3.
On FreeBSD triple- and quadruple-layouts are not supported (only the first and the second layout are taken into account).
The option grp:shifts_toggle is not supported.
The following configuration will give you the standard US QWERTY layout (us). The key <Menu> will act as a compose key (compose:menu) and <CapsLock> will act as third control key (ctrl:nocaps).
XKBLAYOUT=us XKBVARIANT= XKBOPTIONS=compose:menu,ctrl:nocapsIn the following configuration the right <Alt> key (grp:toggle) will toggle between US QWERTY layout (us) and Greek (gr) layout. The option grp_led:scroll 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).
XKBLAYOUT=us,gr XKBVARIANT= XKBOPTIONS=grp:toggle,grp_led:scrollIn the following configuration the <Control>+<Shift> key combination will toggle (grp:ctrl_shift_toggle) between French keyboard (fr) without dead keys (nodeadkeys) and British (gb) ``Dvorak'' (dvorak) keyboard. The right <Win> key will be a compose-key (compose:rwin) and the right <Alt> key will function as AltGr (lv3:lalt_switch).
XKBLAYOUT=fr,gb XKBVARIANT=nodeadkeys,dvorak XKBOPTIONS=grp:ctrl_shift_toggle,compose:rwin,lv3:ralt_switch
SEE ALSOsetupcon(1), ckbcomp(1), console-setup(5), loadkeys(1), kbdcontrol(1)
Return to Main Contents