Using a non-us keymap with Speakup

Georgina Joyce gena at
Thu Dec 20 17:03:38 EST 2001


The following text is from a file in the Speakup directory called

The following text explains how I successfully patched a UK key-map with
Speakup's generic key-map on Debian and a Slackware 8 system, during
December 2001, while logged in as root.  I didn't know if users would
have the necessary privileges.

The dependent files, applications and utilities were:

* The "cat" command, to concatenate files.

* gzip compression utility to uncompress and compress the
key-map file.

* The console-tools to provide key-maps and to load the new
key-map with its loadkeys utility.

* The from the Speakup directory of the Speakup site, (See the URL below).

Here's how I did it on a Debian (Woody) system:
I entered the commands as given below and press return after completing
each line.

cp /usr/share/keymap/i386/qwerty/
cd /usr/share/keymap/i386/qwerty/
gunzip uk.kmap.gz
cat >> uk.kmap
gzip uk.kmap
loadkeys uk

End of the command line entries I used for the Debian key-map patch:

Although some of the command line entries appear to be quite long I
used the tab key to auto complete some of the strings.

Here's how I patched the UK map for Slackware 8.  It is virtually the
same as for the Debian process but the path is slightly different:

cp /usr/share/kbd/keymaps/i386/qwerty/
cd /usr/share/kbd/keymaps/i386/qwerty/
gunzip uk.kmap.gz
cat >> uk.kmap
gzip uk.kmap
loadkeys uk

End of the command line entries I used for Slackware:

While I've used the UK key-map, the same routine should work for any
other non-us key-map that comes with the console-tools package that is
installed by most distributions.

Should you have any questions about using a non-us key-map please raise
them with the Speakup e-mail list, or visit the SpeakFreely reflector
see: for details of these routes of support.

You can contact me by sending a e-mail post to gena at and I'll
attempt to answer any questions I can but I'm just a blundering

Georgina Joyce
December 2001


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