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KEYBOARD(4)		 BSD Kernel Interfaces Manual		   KEYBOARD(4)

     keyboard -- pc keyboard interface

     The PC keyboard is	used as	the console character input device.  The key-
     board is owned by the current virtual console.  To	switch between the
     virtual consoles use the sequence ALT+Fn, which means hold	down ALT and
     press one of the function keys.  The virtual console with the same	number
     as	the function key is then selected as the current virtual console and
     given exclusive use of the	keyboard and display.

     The console allows	entering values	that are not physically	present	on the
     keyboard via a special keysequence.  To use this facility press and hold
     down ALT, then enter a decimal number from	0-255 via the numerical	key-
     pad, then release ALT.  The entered value is then used as the ASCII value
     for one character.	 This way it is	possible to enter any ASCII value, not
     present on	the keyboard.  The console driver also includes	a history
     function.	It is activated	by pressing the	scroll-lock key.  This holds
     the display, and enables the cursor arrows	for scrolling up and down
     through the last scrolled out lines.

     The keyboard is configurable to suit the individual user and the differ-
     ent national layout.

     The keys on the keyboard can have any of the following functions:

     Normal key	   Enter the ASCII value associated with the key.
     Function key  Enter a string of ASCII values.
     Switch Key	   Switch virtual console.
     Modifier Key  Change the meaning of another key.

     The keyboard is seen as a number of keys numbered from 1 to n. This num-
     ber is often referred to as the "scancode"	for a given key.  The number
     of	the key	is transmitted as an 8 bit char	with bit 7 as 0	when a key is
     pressed, and the number with bit 7	as 1 when released.  This makes	it
     possible to make the mapping of the keys fully configurable.

     The meaning of every key is programmable via the PIO_KEYMAP ioctl call,
     that takes	a structure keymap_t as	argument.  The layout of this struc-
     ture is as	follows:

			   struct keymap {
				   u_short n_keys;
				   struct key_t	{
					   u_char map[NUM_STATES];
					   u_char spcl;
					   u_char flgs;
				   } key[NUM_KEYS];

     The field n_keys tells the	system how many	keydefinitions (scancodes)
     follows.  Each scancode is	then specified in the key_t substructure.

     Each scancode can be translated to	any of 8 different values, depending
     on	the shift, control, and	alt state.  These eight	possibilities are rep-
     resented by the map array,	as shown below:

      scan			    cntrl	   alt	  alt	cntrl
      code     base   shift  cntrl  shift   alt	  shift	 cntrl	shift
      map[n]	  0	  1	 2	3     4	      5	     6	    7
      ----     ------------------------------------------------------
      0x1E	'a'	'A'   0x01   0x01    'a'    'A'	  0x01	 0x01

     This is the default mapping for the key labelled 'A' which	normally has
     scancode 0x1E. The	eight states are as shown, giving the 'A' key its nor-
     mal behavior.  The	spcl field is used to give the key "special" treat-
     ment, and is interpreted as follows.  Each	bit corresponds	to one of the
     states above.  If the bit is 0 the	key emits the number defined in	the
     corresponding map[] entry.	 If the	bit is 1 the key is "special". This
     means it does not emit anything; instead it changes the "state". That
     means it is a shift, control, alt,	lock, switch-screen, function-key or
     no-op key.	 The bitmap is backwards ie. 7 for base, 6 for shift etc.

     The flgs field defines if the key should react on caps-lock (1), num-lock
     (2), both (3) or ignore both (0).

     The kbdcontrol(1) utility is used to load such a description into/outof
     the kernel	at runtime.  This makes	it possible to change the key assign-
     ments at runtime, or more important to get	(GIO_KEYMAP ioctl) the exact
     key meanings from the kernel (fx. used by the X server).

     The function keys can be programmed using the SETFKEY ioctl call.

     This ioctl	takes an argument of the type fkeyarg_t:

			   struct fkeyarg {
				   u_short keynum;
				   char	   keydef[MAXFK];
				   char	   flen;

     The field keynum defines which function key that is programmed.  The ar-
     ray keydef	should contain the new string to be used (MAXFK	long), and the
     length should be entered in flen.

     The GETFKEY ioctl call works in a similar manner, except it returns the
     current setting of	keynum.

     The function keys are numbered like this:

		   F1-F12		   key 1 - 12
		   Shift F1-F12		   key 13 - 24
		   Ctrl	F1-F12		   key 25 - 36
		   Ctrl+shift F1-F12	   key 37 - 48

		   Home			   key 49
		   Up arrow		   key 50
		   Page	Up		   key 51
		   (keypad) -		   key 52
		   Left	arrow		   key 53
		   (keypad) 5		   key 54
		   Right arrow		   key 55
		   (keypad) +		   key 56
		   End			   key 57
		   Down	arrow		   key 58
		   Page	down		   key 59
		   Insert		   key 60
		   Delete		   key 61

		   Right window		   key 62
		   Left	window		   key 63
		   Menu			   key 64

     The kbdcontrol(1) utility also allows changing these values at runtime.

     Soren Schmidt <>

BSD				January	8, 1995				   BSD


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