I'm using an aluminum Apple keyboard with my Mandriva 2010.2 Linux system. I remap the Apple Command key () to control using the following .Xmodmap file:

keycode 134 = Control_R
remove mod4 = Multi_key
add Control = Control_L Control_R Multi_key

If I allow xscreensaver to activate and run for some time, it appears to undo this remapping. I subsequently have to run xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap again manually. Is there any way to avoid this? I'm using XFCE as my desktop environment.

migrated from serverfault.com Jul 3 '11 at 14:24

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  • I've run into this before where things are able to reset any changes made by xmodmap after X starts and revert to the default X layout. VMware used to do this all the time. If I can remember what I did to fix it so that xmodmap wouldn't get over-written I'll get back to you on this. – Caleb Jul 4 '11 at 9:53

A few years ago I used a PC keyboard with a Macintosh multi-booting Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Linux. The windows key generated the same keycode as the Apple Command Key and showed up in linux as 'meta' or something. Try geekosaur's answer for mapping the windows key here.

Even if it is the wrong keycode, something very similar should do for you.

Edit: Example of xorg.conf section to map the Control function to the Windows keys according to geekosaur's instructions.

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier  "Keyboard0"
    Driver    "keyboard"
    Option    "XkbLayout" "us"
    Option    "XkbOptions" "altwin:ctrl_win"
  • Setting the mapping isn't the problem here, the problem is it is getting UN-set by something else. – Caleb Jul 4 '11 at 9:51
  • This post describes how to make the change permanent when using xkb, but it seems that ~/.xkbmap or ~/.Xkbmap is not automatically parsed on my system when I start an X11 session. – lebedov Jul 4 '11 at 13:42
  • @Caleb, the important bit from geekosaur is the 'Section "InputDevices" ... XkbOptions "altwin:ctrl_win" ... EndSection' in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. This avoids the ~/.Xmodmap not loading, rogue window managers, and xscreensaver cannot touch it. – Magicianeer Jul 5 '11 at 4:25

You can simply permanently define another layout, or key bindings. Here:

how to assign another modifier to Alt key for X11?

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