How to use function keys under X-windows

How to use function keys under X-windows

Post by Roland Kw » Mon, 29 Nov 1993 16:10:18

I am absolutely e*d about running X on Linux. It took some
figuring out and kernel recompiles and other tricks, but it works.
EXCEPT that I haven't figured out how to get the function keys in
emacs to work like without X. I mean, I made a nice vt100.el and
keypad.el so that the PgUp key scrolls one screen up, the - and + keys
on the numeric keypad do cut and paste, and so on. This all worked
nicely on the VAX/VMS, and on Linux emacs. But now, running emacs
in X, these keys don't work anymore.

I tried to set the TERM environment variable to vt100 (is default xterm)
in the xterm window right before I launch emacs &, and emacs seems to
see this value (M-! echo $TERM shows indeed vt100), but to no avail.

Is there something I need to know about X to get my function keys back?



1. Function keys under X-Windows: Why do the generate the keys they do?

I think this is not a Linux question per se, but rather one related to
XFree-86 in particular and probably to IBM PC hardware based X servers in

The question is: Why do the (IBM-PC) function keys generate the sequence of
keys that they do?  I have found the following:

        keys            chars generated
        =====           ===============
        F1-F5           {esc}[1[1-5]~   (That is, escape, bracket, 11-15, tilde)
        F6-F10          {esc}[17-21]~   (That is, escape, bracket, 17-21, tilde)
        F11-F12         {esc}[23-24]~   (That is, escape, bracket, 23-24, tilde)

I have two questions:
        1) Why the funny sequences in general?  I suppose this is more of a
           historical question than anything else.
        2) Why the weird numerical sequences (11-15, 17-21, and 23-24) ?

    "We trained hard -- but it seemed that every time we were
    beginning to form into teams, we would be reorganized.  I
    was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new
    situation by reorganizing.  And what a wonderful method it
    can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing
    confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization."
                        --  Gaius Petronius Arbiter --
                            (First Century)

          hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, every time he posts -
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