setkeycodes(8) — Linux manual page


SETKEYCODES(8)                Keyboard Support                SETKEYCODES(8)

NAME         top

       setkeycodes - load kernel scancode-to-keycode mapping table entries

SYNOPSIS         top

       setkeycodes scancode keycode ...

DESCRIPTION         top

       The setkeycodes command reads its arguments two at a time, each pair
       of arguments consisting of a scancode (given in hexadecimal) and a
       keycode (given in decimal). For each such pair, it tells the kernel
       keyboard driver to map the specified scancode to the specified

       This command is useful only for people with slightly unusual
       keyboards, that have a few keys which produce scancodes that the
       kernel does not recognize.

THEORY         top

       The usual PC keyboard produces a series of scancodes for each key
       press and key release. (Scancodes are shown by showkey -s, see
       showkey(1).)  The kernel parses this stream of scancodes, and
       converts it to a stream of keycodes (key press/release events).
       (Keycodes are shown by showkey.)  Apart from a few scancodes with
       special meaning, and apart from the sequence produced by the Pause
       key, and apart from shiftstate related scancodes, and apart from the
       key up/down bit, the stream of scancodes consists of unescaped
       scancodes xx (7 bits) and escaped scancodes e0 xx (8+7 bits).  To
       these scancodes or scancode pairs, a corresponding keycode can be
       assigned (in the range 1-127).  For example, if you have a Macro key
       that produces e0 6f according to showkey(1), the command
              setkeycodes e06f 112
       will assign the keycode 112 to it, and then loadkeys(1) can be used
       to define the function of this key.

       Some older kernels might hardwire a low scancode range to the
       equivalent keycodes; setkeycodes will fail when you try to remap

2.6 KERNELS         top

       In 2.6 kernels key codes lie in the range 1-255, instead of 1-127.
       (It might be best to confine oneself to the range 1-239.)

       In 2.6 kernels raw mode, or scancode mode, is not very raw at all.
       The code returned by showkey -s will change after use of setkeycodes.
       A kernel bug. See also showkey(1).

OPTIONS         top


BUGS         top

       The keycodes of X have nothing to do with those of Linux.  Unusual
       keys can be made visible under Linux, but not under X.

SEE ALSO         top

       dumpkeys(1), loadkeys(1), showkey(1), getkeycodes(8)

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the kbd (Linux keyboard tools) project.
       Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for this man‐
       ual page, send it to  This page was obtained
       from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2020-06-09.  (At that time,
       the date of the most recent commit that was found in the repository
       was 2020-06-08.)  If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML
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Local                            8 Nov 1994                   SETKEYCODES(8)

Pages that refer to this page: showkey(1)getkeycodes(8)