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We have ergonomic keyboards at work which I'm not entirely used to. I seem to keep hitting the capslock key while I'm in vim and it's starting to annoy. How can I disable this key, and or change to to be another key?

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Related: Remapping caps-lock to escape, and menu to compose, on the linux console. Do you want this only in X, or in your OS (which?)'s console? –  Gilles Aug 2 '11 at 22:33
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4 Answers

The quick and dirty way to disable it is with xmodmap:

$ xmodmap -e 'clear Lock'

The next question is what would you like to do with it? I usually make it either a Ctrl key:

$ xmodmap -e 'keycode 66 = Control_L'

Depending on your DE/WM, there is likely a way to do this in the GUI configuration. For example Gnome has a "keyboard layout" option on the control pannels with an options tab that includes several similar layout modifications.

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Arrr, too fast 4 me ;) Anyway, so just added a setxkbmap solution to my answer then... –  rozcietrzewiacz Aug 2 '11 at 13:51
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Use xmodmap.

The setting to disable your capslock is

remove Lock = Caps_Lock

This would be placed in your .xmodmap file.

Another option - to disable it temporarily, you can use a setxkbmap option:

setxkbmap -option ctrl:nocaps

and then, to restore normal behavior: setxkbmap -option

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Using xmodmap will only change the key binding while in X. If you need it on the console it's a little different. The changes below will modify X as well as the console, so I always do it this way.

For Linux add this to /etc/rc.local (or make an init script):

(echo $(dumpkeys |grep -i keymaps); echo keycode 58 = Control) | loadkeys -

For Solaris on a PC with a USB keyboard edit /usr/share/lib/keytables/type_6/reset (for other types of keyboards you would replace type_6 with the appropriate type):

Locate this line:

key 57   all shiftkeys+capslock

Replace with this:

key 57   all shiftkeys+leftctrl up shiftkeys+leftctrl

Naturally you can replace Control with any key you would like.

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This is a portion of my .xmodmaprc, that turns CapsLock into Esc, and vice versa:

clear lock

keycode 9 = Caps_Lock ISO_Next_Group Caps_Lock ISO_Next_Group
keycode 66 = Escape NoSymbol Escape

add lock = Caps_Lock

You can check the keycodes by running xev and just pressing the buttons you want to check.

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This is quite handy for use in Vi/Vim –  polemon Aug 2 '11 at 16:31
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