new keyboard - "special" keys useable?

Peter Jeremy PeterJeremy at
Sun Jun 12 07:24:57 GMT 2005

On Fri, 2005-Jun-10 22:20:40 +0200, Oliver Lehmann wrote:
>I'm planning to buy a new cordless keyboard+mouse. But as far as I can
>see, there are only keyboards available with 8-25 "special" keys meant
>for doing sth. special in windows (adjusting volume, open iexplore and so
>Can I make those keys somewhat useable with FreeBSD

Do you want them usable in syscons or X11?

For the former, see kbdmap(1) and kbdmap(5).
For the latter, see setxkbmap(1) and friends or xmodmap(1).

Note that in either case, you need to know the keycodes generated by the
"special" keys - xev(1) can be useful for this.

> so I can define for
>example script "a" to execute when key "a" was pressed?

In general, no.  Syscons is limited to generating a single key
character (including function keys) or special event known to the
kernel (switch screens, halt, reboot, power off etc).  X is somewhat
more powerful but is still constrained to forwarding a single event to
the X client (though you may be able to configure the client to
perform arbitrary actions using the key bindings in the resource

Peter Jeremy

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