I have an older version of RHEL. In newer versions, there is usually an option to map the caps key to the esc key. How would I do this in an old version?

Going to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Layout Options -> CapsLock Key behavior doesn't have the option to switch caps lock key to escape key.


1 Answer 1


Add the following to your ~/.Xmodmap file:

keycode 66 = Escape NoSymbol Escape
clear Lock

See Remapping Caps Lock with xmodmap doesn't work for explanations.

Run xmodmap - <~/.Xmodmap to apply your changes immediately. They will be applied automatically when you log in in the future.

(By the way, this is essentially what's going on under the hood in RHEL 6, which is apparently where you got the desire for this feature in RHEL 5. This is what I meant by my deleted comment that this stuff had been nailed down years before. All they've done is put a little GUI glaze on top of an ancient mechanism.)

  • You also need to remove the Lock modifier. And there's no need to restart the X session. Jun 23, 2012 at 0:32
  • I considered adding the xmodmap(1) stuff, but didn't feel the need to complicate things. The setting needs to be persistent eventually, and it's not like you're going to be changing it that often. Jun 23, 2012 at 1:04

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