I recently acquired an old netbook which has no backslash/pipe key. I have successfully remapped the caps lock to backslash using loadkeys.
I would like to map SHIFT+CAPS LOCK to the pipe key in a similar way, in particular not using anything like xkb as I want all this to work on my VTs.

Is it possible to do this using loadkeys or some other tool?

  • I haven't done it before, but [this][1] looks quite encouraging. [1]: stackoverflow.com/questions/3177953/… Jan 21, 2015 at 15:12
  • Thanks, but as far as I can see xmodmap is part of Xorg and will only work within X. I am looking for something to remap keys within a VT.
    – Alex
    Jan 21, 2015 at 17:31

2 Answers 2


Found my own answer in the keymaps man page. On my keyboard the CAPS LOCK has keycode 41. To remap it, you need the following keymap line,

keycode 41 = backslash bar

This will map CAPS LOCK to the backslash character, and SHIFT + CAPS LOCK to the bar (pipe) character.

  • In what file should that line be put? May 26, 2018 at 16:03
  • It's a while since I did this so I don't really remember. But check out man keymaps, man dumpkeys and man loadkeys. I think you need to dump the kernel keycode translation tables with dumpkeys, add or update the keymap with the line I gave in the original answer and then use loadkeys to load these keymaps. But, as I said, I may not quite be remembering correctly.
    – Alex
    May 26, 2018 at 17:53

You can use XKB options on the console. See keyboard(5).


in /etc/default/keyboard will make the key to the left of A behave the way it should in X and on text VTs.

Apparently you can use a KMAP=file option in /etc/default/keyboard, to support arbitrary remappings. This would be where you could put keycode 41 = backslash bar, I think.

Run setupcon to apply the change on a text VT.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .