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KBDCONTROL(1)           FreeBSD General Commands Manual          KBDCONTROL(1)

     kbdcontrol -- a utility for manipulating the syscons console driver

     kbdcontrol [-dFKix] [-b duration.pitch | belltype] [-r delay.repeat |
                speed] [-l keymap_file] [-f # string] [-h size]
                [-k keyboard_device] [-L keymap_file]

     The kbdcontrol command is used to set various keyboard related options
     for the syscons(4) console driver and the keyboard drivers, such as key
     map, keyboard repeat and delay rates, bell characteristics etc.

     Keyboard options may be automatically configured at system boot time by
     setting variables in /etc/rc.conf.  See Boot Time Configuration below.

     The following command line options are supported:

     -b duration.pitch | belltype
             Set the bell duration in milliseconds and pitch in hertz.  If a
             belltype argument is specified, it may be one of normal which
             sets sound parameters back to normal values, off which disables
             the bell entirely, or visual which sets the bell to visual mode,
             i.e. flashes the screen instead.  If belltype is preceded by the
             word quiet., the bell will not be rung when the ringing process
             is in the background vty.

     -r delay.repeat | speed
             Set keyboard delay (250, 500, 750, 1000) and repeat (34, 38, 42,
             46, 50, 55, 59, 63, 68, 76, 84, 92, 100, 110, 118, 126, 136, 152,
             168, 184, 200, 220, 236, 252, 272, 304, 336, 368, 400, 440, 472,
             504) rates, or if a speed argument is specified, it may be one of
             slow (1000.504), fast (250.34) or normal (500.126).

     -l keymap_file
             Install keyboard map file from keymap_file.  You may load the
             keyboard map file from a menu-driven command, kbdmap(1).

     -d      Dump the current keyboard map onto stdout.  The output may be
             redirected to a file and can be loaded back to the kernel later
             by the -l option above.

     -f # string
             Set function key number # to send string.  Refer to the man page
             for the keyboard driver (e.g. atkbd(4)) for available function
             keys and their numbers.

     -F      Set function keys back to the standard definitions.

     -x      Use hexadecimal numbers in keyboard map dump.

     -h size
             Set history buffer size to size lines.

     -i      Print brief information about the keyboard.

     -K      Disconnect the keyboard from the console.  You need to use the -k
             option below to associate a keyboard with the console again.

     -k keyboard_device
             Use the specified device as the console keyboard.  When using
             this option, the standard input of the kbdcontrol process should
             be redirected from /dev/console if you are not working on the
             system console (see the EXAMPLES section).

     -L keymap_file
             Load keyboard map file from keymap_file and write the struct
             keymap compiled from it to stdout.  This option is primarily
             intended for programmers and is probably of little use under nor-
             mal circumstances.

   Boot Time Configuration
     You may set variables in /etc/rc.conf or /etc/rc.conf.local in order to
     configure the keyboard at boot time.  The following is the list of rele-
     vant variables.

     keymap       Specifies a keyboard map file for the -l option.
     keyrate      Sets the keyboard repeat rate for the -r option.
     keychange    Lists function key strings for the -f option.

     See rc.conf(5) for details.

   Driver Configuration
     The keyboard device driver may let you change default configuration
     options, such as the default keyboard map, so that you do not need to set
     up the options at boot time.  See keyboard driver manuals (e.g. atkbd(4),
     ukbd(4)) for details.

     /usr/share/syscons/keymaps/*        keyboard map files

     The following command will load the keyboard map file

           kbdcontrol -l /usr/share/syscons/keymaps/ru.koi8-r.kbd

     So long as the keyboard map file resides in /usr/share/syscons/keymaps,
     you may abbreviate the file name as ru.koi8-r.

           kbdcontrol -l ru.koi8-r

     The following command will make the function key 10 emit "telnet myhost".

           kbdcontrol -f 10 "telnet myhost"

     In order to get the visual effect for bell, but prevent the screen from
     flushing if the bell is to ring in the background screen, run the follow-
     ing command.

           kbdcontrol -b quiet.visual

     To change the default console keyboard to the another keyboard, for exam-
     ple the first USB keyboard (see ukbd(4)), use the following commands.

           kbdcontrol -k /dev/kbd1 < /dev/console

     To switch back to the default keyboard, use this command.

           kbdcontrol -k /dev/kbd0

     Report when found.

     kbdmap(1), vidcontrol(1), atkbd(4), keyboard(4), screen(4), syscons(4),
     ukbd(4), kbdmap(5), rc.conf(5)

     Soren Schmidt <>

FreeBSD 4.10                     June 30, 1999                    FreeBSD 4.10


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