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I have installed several operatings systems under qumu. Host OS is ubunti 17.10, guest OSes are MS-DOS 6.22, OS/2 warp 4.52, Windows 98 SE. In all cases, keys on my keyboard are non-functional even though they work in the host. And I also tested the keyboard on real hardware running both Windows 98 SE and OS/2 Warp 4.52 and those keys do work. So, the OSes do support the keys yet qemu is somehow blocking them. The keys that do not function in qemu are:

arrow up arrow down arrow left arrow right insert home page up page down end delete

How do I get these keys functioning in the guest OS under qemu?

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I too had a similar problem, but was able to fix it as follows:

In my case, I had to run a i386 system with

qemu-system-i386 -hda tty.qcow2 -boot c

I modified this with -k en-us so now the command is:

qemu-system-i386 -k en-us -hda tty.qcow2 -boot c

Now my directional keys function.

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