alt/meta key?

  • Nobody/Anonymous

    How do I get the options/alt key to behave like an
    alt (meta) key? 

    shift-options does not do alt/meta functionality.

    furthermore, should the apple/command/flower key
    behave like a meta/alt key?  it doesn't.

    I have window manager functionality bound to ALT-* and
    CTL-ALT-* that I would like to keep the same since I use
    my environment on multiple hardware platforms.


    • Patrik Montgomery

      Alt does not equal Meta. Sorry, but it doesn't. Many programs interpret them as the same thing, but the keysyms are different. The Command key is bound to Meta, but it seems you want Alt.

      Try the program "xmodmap" and you'll get an output like this:

      xmodmap:  up to 2 keys per modifier, (keycodes in parentheses):

      shift       Shift_L (0x40),  Shift_R (0x44)
      lock        Caps_Lock (0x41)
      control     Control_L (0x43),  Control_R (0x46)
      mod1        Mode_switch (0x42),  Alt_R (0x45)
      mod2        Meta_L (0x3f)

      mod1 is the key with the text alt, the on Apple calls option. mod2 is the command key, with an Apple symbol on it. As for the keysyms, Mode_switch is the key you press to get the third and fourth char on each key - Alt Gr on Windows. Unfortunately, there's no way to map the two option keys to different keysyms.

      What you need to do is remap either mod1 or mod2 to send the keysym Alt_L. "man xmodmap" can explain the details of how better than I can.


Get latest updates about Open Source Projects, Conferences and News.

Sign up for the SourceForge newsletter:

No, thanks