7.7. Configuring the Linux Console

This section discusses how to configure the console bootscript that sets up the keyboard map and the console font. If non-ASCII characters (e.g., the British pound sign and Euro character) will not be used and the keyboard is a U.S. one, skip this section. Without the configuration file, the console bootscript will do nothing.

The console script reads the /etc/sysconfig/console file for configuration information. Decide which keymap and screen font will be used. Various language-specific HOWTO's can also help with this (see http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/other-lang.html. A pre-made /etc/sysconfig/console file with known settings for several countries was installed with the CLFS-Bootscripts package, so the relevant section can be uncommented if the country is supported. If still in doubt, look in the /lib/kbd directory for valid keymaps and screen fonts. Read loadkeys(1) and setfont(8) to determine the correct arguments for these programs. Once decided, create the configuration file with the following command:

cat >${CLFS}/etc/sysconfig/console <<"EOF"
KEYMAP="[arguments for loadkeys]"
FONT="[arguments for setfont]"
EOF

For example, for Spanish users who also want to use the Euro character (accessible by pressing AltGr+E), the following settings are correct:

cat >${CLFS}/etc/sysconfig/console <<"EOF"
KEYMAP="es euro2"
FONT="lat9-16 -u iso01"
EOF
[Note]

Note

The FONT line above is correct only for the ISO 8859-15 character set. If using ISO 8859-1 and, therefore, a pound sign instead of Euro, the correct FONT line would be:

FONT="lat1-16"

If the KEYMAP or FONT variable is not set, the console initscript will not run the corresponding program.

In some keymaps, the Backspace and Delete keys send characters different from ones in the default keymap built into the kernel. This confuses some applications. For example, Emacs displays its help (instead of erasing the character before the cursor) when Backspace is pressed. To check if the keymap in use is affected (this works only for i386 keymaps):

zgrep '\W14\W' [/path/to/your/keymap]

If the keycode 14 is Backspace instead of Delete, create the following keymap snippet to fix this issue:

mkdir -p ${CLFS}/etc/kbd && cat > ${CLFS}/etc/kbd/bs-sends-del <<"EOF"
                  keycode  14 = Delete Delete Delete Delete
              alt keycode  14 = Meta_Delete
        altgr alt keycode  14 = Meta_Delete
                  keycode 111 = Remove
    altgr control keycode 111 = Boot
      control alt keycode 111 = Boot
altgr control alt keycode 111 = Boot
EOF

Tell the console script to load this snippet after the main keymap:

cat >> ${CLFS}/etc/sysconfig/console <<"EOF"
KEYMAP_CORRECTIONS="/etc/kbd/bs-sends-del"
EOF