Emacs weirdness at console

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at FreeBSD.org
Mon May 19 01:17:22 PDT 2003

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Single line paragraph.

On Monday, 19 May 2003 at 15:34:02 +0800, Robert Storey wrote:
> I'm a Linux refugee, and I confess to being new at FreeBSD.
> I've used Emacs a lot over the past few years under Linux. What I've
> noticed in FreeBSD is that Emacs barely works at the console, yet it
> works fine under X.

Are you having other problems than the one you describe?

> A crucial problem (in the console) is that the ALT key (or M- key in
> Emacs parlance) just doesn't work at all.

The Meta (M-) key is not the Alt key.  If you want to use the Alt key
as a Meta key, you need to tell the system to do so.

> That's pretty major - without that key, about half the Emacs
> commands are inaccessible.

No, that's not correct.  Hit Esc first, then the character.  That has
always worked.

> The CTRL key (C- ) does work as expected. Again, in X, all is well
> with Emacs.

Try loading the emacs key bindings:

 # kbdcontrol -l /usr/share/syscons/keymaps/us.emacs.kbd

You can get the system to load this keymap automatically at boot time
by putting the following line in your /etc/rc.conf:

  keymap="us.emacs.kbd"   # keymap in /usr/share/syscons/keymaps/* (or NO).

See the man page for kbdcontrol(1) for more details.

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