setxkbmap - set the keyboard using the X Keyboard Extension
setxkbmap [ args ] [ layout [ variant
[ option ... ] ] ]
command maps the keyboard to use the layout determined by
the options specified 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
- -compat name
- Specifies the name of the compatibility map component used to construct a
- -config file
- Specifies the name of an XKB configuration file which describes the
keyboard to be used.
- -device device
- 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 updated.
- -display display
- Specifies the display to be updated with the new keyboard layout.
- -geometry name
- Specifies the name of the geometry component used to construct a keyboard
- Prints a message describing the valid input to setxkbmap.
- -I directory
- Adds a directory to the list of directories to be used to search for
specified layout or rules files.
- -keycodes name
- Specifies the name of the keycodes component used to construct a keyboard
- -keymap name
- Specifies the name of the keymap description used to construct a keyboard
- -layout name
- Specifies the name of the layout used to determine the components which
make up the keyboard description. The -layout option may only be
used once. Multiple layouts can be specified as a comma-separated
- -model name
- 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 line.
- -option name
- Specifies the name of an option to determine the components which make up
the keyboard 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 previously specified
options, use the -option flag with an empty argument first.
- With this option 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
- With this option setxkbmap just prints the current rules, model,
layout, variant, and options, then exits.
- -rules file
- Specifies the name of the rules file used to resolve the requested layout
and model to a set of component names.
- -symbols name
- Specifies the name of the symbols component used to construct a keyboard
- Force synchronization for X requests.
- -types name
- Specifies the name of the types component used to construct a keyboard
- -variant name
- Specifies which variant of the keyboard layout should be used to determine
the components which make up the keyboard description. The -variant
option may only be used once. Multiple variants can be specified as a
comma-separated list and will be matched with the layouts specified with
- -verbose|-v [level]
- 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.
- Prints the program's version number.
USING WITH xkbcomp¶
If you have an Xserver and a client shell running on different computers and
some XKB configuration files on those machines are different, you can get
problems specifying a keyboard map by model, layout, and options names. This
is because setxkbmap
converts its arguments to names of XKB
configuration files according to files that are on the client-side computer,
then sends these file names to the server where xkbcomp
has to compose
a complete keyboard map using files which the server has. Thus if the sets of
files differ in some way, the names that setxkbmap
generates can be
unacceptable on the server side. You can solve this problem by running the
on the client side too. With the -print
just prints the file names in an appropriate format to its
stdout and this output can be piped directly to the xkbcomp
example, the command
setxkbmap us -print | xkbcomp - $DISPLAY
makes both steps run on the same (client) machine and loads a keyboard map into