Devin Reade

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Meta/Alt Key Shortcuts No Longer Work

I first noticed this problem with FC3. It also exists in FC4, FC6, (and probably FC5), CentOS 5.x, and probably all newer distributions.

If your applications' alt or meta key shortcuts no longer work, it's probably the case that the key mappings are wrong.

  1. Solution 1 (recommended): Create the file $HOME/.Xmodmap containing the following:

        keysym Alt_L = Meta_L Alt_L
    
    Mode 644 is sufficient. You need to log out and log back in again for this to take effect. You do not need to reboot.

  2. Solution 2: Create the file $HOME/.xmodmaprc with the same line in it as shown above. Then create the file $HOME/.xinput.d/default (which may also be mode 644) and in that default file add the following line:

        xmodmap $HOME/.xmodmaprc
    

The above works for KDE. I make no gaurantees for GNOME, but it's probably fine there, too.

You might want to also check out http://cweiske.de/howto/xmodmap/allinone.html


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Last Updated: 22 Jan 2010