How to use a .xkm with X

Mike Eriksen thinstation.mike at
Wed Jun 2 04:51:03 PDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 3:37 AM, Peter Hutterer <peter.hutterer at> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 02, 2010 at 02:51:37AM +0200, Mike Eriksen wrote:
>> On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 2:16 PM, Mike Eriksen
>> <thinstation.mike at> wrote:
>> > Hi.
>> >
>> > For use with a tiny Linux distro, I need to use precompiled .xkm
>> > keymap files in order to save space.
>> >
>> > In the good old day of X 6.8/6.9 there was a -xkm command line option
>> > to X, but that one has gone nowadays. I have googled for about a day
>> > now, but gotten nowhere and "man X" isn't useful either.
>> >
>> > Could someone please explain how to use a .xkm keymap these days.
>> >
>> > TIA
>> >
>> > Mike
>> Hmm, no responses yet. Is it rocket science to use precompiled keymaps
>> nowadays?  _______________________________________________
> xkbcomp will spit out xkm files on request (that's how the server gets
> them). Is that what you're looking for?
> Cheers,
>  Peter

Oh no, making the precompiled keymaps is simple enough, the problem is
how to use them. With Xorg 6.8 and 6.9 you just added the -kbm option
to X, but that option has been removed with more recent version.

So I have a nice xkm file, but no means to use it :-)

For a normal distro it wouldn't really matter to use xkb in stead, but
when you run off a RAM disk on primitive hardware, you can't really
afford to waste at couple of MB just to get the right keymap.



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