X11R7.4 - man page for setxkbmap (x11r4 section 1)
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setxkbmap - set the keyboard using the X Keyboard Extension
setxkbmap [ args ] [ layout [ variant [ option ... ] ] ]
The setxkbmap command maps the keyboard to use the layout determined by the options speci-
fied on the command line.
An XKB keymap is constructed from a number of components which are compiled only as
needed. The source for all of the components can be found in /usr/local/share/X11/xkb.
-help Prints a message describing the valid input to setxkbmap.
Specifies the name of the compatibility map component used to construct a keyboard
Specifies the name of an XKB configuration file which describes the keyboard to be
Specifies the numeric device id of the input device to be updated with the new
keyboard layout. If not specified, the core keyboard device of the X server is
Specifies the display to be updated with the new keyboard layout.
Specifies the name of the geometry component used to construct a keyboard layout.
Adds a directory to the list of directories to be used to search for specified
layout or rules files.
Specifies the name of the keycodes component used to construct a keyboard layout.
Specifies the name of the keymap description used to construct a keyboard layout.
Specifies the name of the layout used to determine the components which make up
the keyboard description. Only one layout may be specified on the command line.
Specifies the name of the keyboard model used to determine the components which
make up the keyboard description. Only one model may be specified on the command
Specifies the name of an option to determine the components which make up the key-
board description; multiple options may be specified, one per -option flag. Note
that setxkbmap adds options specified in the command line to the options that were
set before (as saved in root window properties). If you want to replace all previ-
ously specified options, use the -option flag with an empty argument first.
-print With this option the setxkbmap just prints component names in a format acceptable
by xkbcomp (an XKB keymap compiler) and exits. The option can be used for tests
instead of a verbose option and in cases when one needs to run both the setxkbmap
and the xkbcomp in chain (see below).
Specifies the name of the rules file used to resolve the requested layout and
model to a set of component names.
Specifies the name of the symbols component used to construct a keyboard layout.
-synch Force synchronization for X requests.
Specifies the name of the types component used to construct a keyboard layout.
Specifies which variant of the keyboard layout should be used to determine the
components which make up the keyboard description. Only one variant may be speci-
fied on the command line.
Specifies level of verbosity in output messages. Valid levels range from 0 (least
verbose) to 10 (most verbose). The default verbosity level is 5. If no level is
specified, each -v or -verbose flag raises the level by 1.
USING WITH xkbcomp
If you have an Xserver and a client shell running on different computers and XKB configu-
ration files on those machines are different you can get problems specifying a keyboard
map by model, layout, options names. This is because setxkbcomp converts these names to
names of XKB configuration files according to files that are on the client side computer,
then it sends the file names to the server where the xkbcomp has to compose a complete
keyboard map using files which the server has. Thus if the sets of files differ signifi-
cantly the names that the setxkbmap generates can be unacceptable on the server side. You
can solve this problem by running the xkbcomp on the client side too. With the -print
option setxkbmap just prints the file names in an appropriate format to its stdout and
this output can be piped directly to the xkbcomp input. For example, the command
setxkbmap us -print | xkbcomp - $DISPLAY
makes both steps run on the same (client) machine and loads a keyboard map into the
X Version 11 setxkbmap 1.0.4 SETXKBMAP(1)
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