Just need to know it, semantically. So most Linux/BSD systems using the X windows manager are using these layouts. For example, the "US International with dead keys" is quite different in X from the Windows implementation. So is the official names for these layouts are the "X keyboard layouts"or something?

Edit for clarification: I'm interested in the layouts's name for not machine, but for human consumption. For example, in Windows you have the English, United Stated Dvorak, English, United States International, English, United Kingdom, German, etc. layouts. And they are all called the Windows variants(?) of said layouts, though I'm not sure, perhaps there is an international standard for these layouts which Microsoft or X.org may or may not follow, I don't know, that's why I ask, thank you.

  • I've edited my answer and added a link to the a table containing all the keymap/layout names and settings.
    – cinelli
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 11:15

1 Answer 1


When the actual layout of the keyboard is being discussed in regards to what each key is does when pressed is defined as keymaps. You can create custom keymaps according to what suites you best.

setxkbmap: used to set the keyboard using the X Keyboard Extension

Viewing the current keymap can be done a number of ways. setxkbmap -query | grep layout

xev: used to view the events that the keys produce in order to build a custom keymap

xmodmap: tool for modifying keymaps and pointer button mappings in.

When discussing if the users alphabet in regards to it having special characters (tildes, etc) the Linux community refers to this setting as locale. This way to set locale can vary from distribution to distribution.

In Arch Linux and other systems using systemd as their init system. localectl is used to view and set

HERE, you will find a chart of the available keymaps or as you refer to them, layouts.

  • 1
    I'm sorry. But in what way, shape or form was this an answer to my question?
    – superuser
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 18:10
  • Unless I understood incorrectly it seems like you've asked "So is the official names for these layouts are the "X keyboard layouts"or something?" . They're called keymaps, they're set using the following tools, and if they require special characters it's done through locale which isn't the same as keymaps
    – cinelli
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 21:48
  • locale was mentioned to make sure it's not confused with the keymaps
    – cinelli
    Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 21:49
  • How does this answer merit a -1 ? You asked what the name for the keyboard layouts were. I answered keymaps. It defines what keymap the keyboard is in the virtual consoles. Keytable files are provided by the kbd package.
    – cinelli
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 4:10
  • Resource. The link also provides a list of available keymaps.
    – cinelli
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 4:11

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