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The Answer Guy

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?)SCO Compatible Console Keymaps?

From Jim Kjorlaug on 25 Jun 1998

I work for a company that sells vertical solutions using SCO unix as a platform. We are currently looking at linux as another possible platform and I have found a possible contention. Does there exist a keytable that causes the linux keyboard to behave like an SCO console. I have already worked out the termcap for SCO ansi to work on linux but some of the keymaps have me stumped. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. I realize that we could modify our application but it would be much easier if it were possible with a keytable.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
Jim Kjorlaug
Teleflora Technologies

(!)I don't know how a SCO console keymap is supposed to behave --- but Linux does have utilities to remap the console keyboard to your heart's content. All of the popular distributions include the 'loadkeys' and 'dumpkeys' programs (parts of Andries Brouwer's 'kbd' package). You can look at the man pages for these for details.

I've never used these packages much --- just once to set up "sticky shift" keys for a friend who lost most of the use in one arm to a stroke a couple of years ago and again to answer some other question back before I started this column.

It does seem quite odd that you'd go for console specific binding rather than using the more portable termcap/terminfo (curses/ncurses) interfaces which would allow your app to be accessed via terminals, over modem/dial-up connections, across telnet sessions and from within xterms. However, I'm sure you have your reasons.

Yann Dirson is working on a package called "Linux console tools" which enhances the kbd package.

There is also a console fonts package (the 'setfont' command is also included with many Linux distributions; it allows you to choose from among about 100 different VGA/EGA compatible console fonts, some of which are quite silly). Andries Brouwer is apparentlly the co-author of the console fonts package, too.

Good luck on the port and welcome to the club.

Copyright © 1998, James T. Dennis
Published in Linux Gazette Issue 30 July 1998

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