KeyTouch is a program which allows you to easily configure the extra function keys of your keyboard. This means that you can define, for every individual function key, what to do if it is pressed.
This HOWTO will try to explain how keytouch is used in Arch Linux. For further documentation, please have a look at the keytouch official documentation.
Keytouch can be installed with the Arch User Repository.AUR package, available in the
You need a keyboard file for your keyboard model. The package build includes some of them. You can also check the official keyboards list.
If your model is not included in the keytouch package you will need to create one for yourself.
Creating a Keyboard File
Install the Arch User Repository. Make sure you have evdev loaded (you should not need to do this if you using the stock kernel)AUR from the
# modprobe evdev
We are going to need to make a keyboard file which is very simple. You need to find out which input device is your keyboard first:
# ls /dev/input/
Every event device (like a keyboard or a mouse) is related to one of these ﬁles. To ﬁnd out which ﬁle belongs to your keyboard, run:
# keytouch-editor /dev/input/eventX mykeyboardconfig
If the previous command fails due to a missing kdesu dependency, try the following variation:
# keytouch-editor-bin /dev/input/eventX mykeyboardconfig
Replace the X by a number. KeyTouch editor will ﬁrst show some information about the device, including its name (”Input device name”) that can tell you if you have chosen the correct event device. KeyTouch editor asks you to press one of the extra function keys. If the program continues after pressing the extra function key, you have chosen the right event device. If not terminate the program by pressing Ctrl+C and try another event device. Note that when your keyboard is connected via USB there are two event devices: /dev/input/eventA (where A is replaced by a number) for all ”normal” keys and /dev/input/eventB (where B = A+1) for the extra function keys.
- After you have found the correct device, follow the steps. keytouch-editor asks your name and the name of the manufacturer and model of your keyboard.
- Now it is time to tell keytouch-editor about your extra function keys. You will see the following message:
Press an extra function key or press enter to finish...
If your keyboard is connected via USB or you started keyTouch editor with the ”–acpi” option, you will not see this message, but instead:
Press return to a new key or enter F followed by return to finish...
- First you will have to press the extra function key so that the program knows which key you mean. It is important that you do not press any other key than the extra function key. After pressing the key you will be asked to enter the keys name, keycode and default action.
- Key name
Choose an appropriate name for the key. If there is for example a text label on the key, use the label as the key’s name.
Use one of the keycodes listed below. It actually doesn’t matter which keycode you choose. However it is recommended that you choose a keycode that matches the best the function of the key. A keycode may only be used once in a keyboard ﬁle.
AGAIN EJECTCLOSECD MAIL REFRESH ALTERASE EMAIL MEDIA REWIND BACK EXIT MENU RIGHTMETA BASSBOOST FASTFORWARD MOVE SCROLLDOWN BOOKMARKS FILE MSDOS SCROLLUP BRIGHTNESSDOWN FINANCE MUTE SEARCH BRIGHTNESSUP FIND NEXTSONG SENDFILE CALC FORWARD OPEN SETUP CAMERA FRONT PASTE SHOP CANCEL HANGUEL PAUSE SLEEP CHAT HANJA PAUSECD SOUND CLOSE HELP PHONE SPORT CLOSECD HOMEPAGE PLAY STOP COFFEE HP PLAYCD STOPCD COMPOSE ISO PLAYPAUSE SUSPEND COMPUTER KBDILLUMDOWN POWER SWITCHVIDEOMODE CONFIG KBDILLUMTOGGLE PREVIOUSSONG UNDO CONNECT KBDILLUMUP PRINT VOLUMEDOWN COPY KPCOMMA PROG1 VOLUMEUP CUT KPEQUAL PROG2 WAKEUP CYCLEWINDOWS KPLEFTPAREN PROG3 WWW DELETEFILE KPPLUSMINUS PROG4 XFER DIRECTION KPRIGHTPAREN PROPS YEN EDIT LEFTMETA QUESTION EJECTCD MACRO RECORD
You can find the correct keycodes from the official keycodes list.
- Default action
It is important to realize that the default action for a key, is not the action you want to use for this key, but one that corresponds to the function of the key. The default action can be a program or a plugin. If it is a program, just ﬁll in the name of the program. If it is a plugin type ”plugin” (without the quotes) instead. Then ﬁll in the name of the plugin. To get a list of all available plugins, run keyTouch and go to the ”Preferences” part. Select the plugin and click the ”Information...” button to get a list of the functions of the selected plugin. After entering the plugins name in keytouch-editor, ﬁll in the function name. Note that the name and function you ﬁll in are case sensitive.
- When you entered the information, the program asks again to press an extra function key. If there are no more extra function keys, just press enter to write the output ﬁle and terminate the program.
After you made the file and tested it, it would be a good idea to send it to the author of keytouch so he can include it in the next release. This helps future users of keytouch who have the same keyboard as you do.
(You know there's a missing @ because of spam bots ;))
- We now need to run keytouch
- What to do...
- When you see the list of keyboards select import and find where you put the keyboard config file you just made.
- Now you should see your keyboard module and manufacturer. Select it and click ok.
- Now you get to the keytouch configuration theme. I think this is pretty self explanatory.
Starting the keytouch daemon
- You should start the keytouch daemon at boot time (add
keytouchto the daemons array in
- You have to load keytouchd on your session startup. There is a script /etc/X11/Xsession which runs all daemons located in /etc/X11/Xsession.d/ including the keytouchd.
- You can add /etc/X11/Xsession into your ~/.xinitrc if you log in from console
- If you, however, use KDM as your login manager .xinitrc will not be parsed. You can add
/etc/X11/Xsessionto your session list of your Desktop Environment (Gnome, Kde, Xfce-svn, among others).
- When I change the volume with the special keys, the OSD looks ugly. What's wrong?:
Maybe you have started the
/etc/X11/Xsession script as root. This is what happens when you place "
/etc/X11/Xsession" on a script like
The only thing that
/etc/X11/Xsession script does, is to look on
/etc/X11/Xsession.d/ and execute every script that is there. Once you have installed
keytouch, two scripts are created there:
$ pwd /etc/X11/Xsession.d $ ls 91keytouch-acpid_launch 92keytouchd_launch
If them aren't executed, there is no
keytouchd for you. But if you execute them as root (e.g. in a KDM startup script) they will look ugly and that isn't good for most people. Just run them as yourself (e.g. creating a symbolic link of
- My multimedia keys (Play/Pause/Previos/Next...) do not work at all:
The problem is probably the same as above. If you run
keytouchd as root, the programs you run with the multimedia keys are expected to run as root, they just won't work.
- I've just created a brand new keyboard file for my own model (using
keytouch-editor) but when I select it in
keytouch, it says that my keyboard file doesn't exist. I know that is there!:
Actually, the error isn't that the file doesn't exist: It only has a bad filename. When you make your own keyboard file, you have to make sure that your filename has exactly this format:
That should do the trick.