Looking for an answer I came across this question. There's something like this:

The keycode X uses and the keycode the kernel uses are OFF BY 8 for "historical reasons". So take 97 - 8 = 89 and use 89 with the setkeycodes command (again as root):

Does anyone know what the historical reasons are and why the codes differ by 8?


The X11 protocol defines a keycode as a 8-bit value in the range [8,255]. The value 0 is a special value for AnyKey - I don't remember if anything uses 1-7, or they were simply reserved for future special cases.

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