How to use a .xkm with X

Peter Hutterer peter.hutterer at
Wed Jun 2 17:51:29 PDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 02, 2010 at 05:50:27PM +0200, Mike Eriksen wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 4:49 PM, Alan Coopersmith
> <alan.coopersmith at> wrote:
> > Mike Eriksen wrote:
> >> 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.
> >
> > Can't you also use xkbcomp to load the .xkm file, in .xinitrc or similar?
> >
> > From the man page it appears that you should be able to do
> >        xkbcomp foo.xkm :0
> No, that will create foo.xkm from the setup on 0: - not force it into use.

xkbcomp <input> <output>, so if you provide an xkm file as input it loads it
to the output - in this case the display specified. If this doesn't work
that'd be a rather bad bug.


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