I'm searching for a way to catch the value of function keys in a variable, when a user push the function key. I have tried with dd command but only the letters or numbers keys are trapped: dd command doesn't work why the function keys.

Here ae several tests lines I have tried but the variable always return nothing with function keys :

selection=dd if=/dev/tty bs=2 count=2 2>/dev/null

selection=$(dd bs=2 count=2 2>/dev/null)

selection=dd bs=1 count=1 2>/dev/null

selection=$(dd bs=1 count=1 2>/dev/null)

selection=head -c1

selection=$(head -c1)

For example - when I push F3 key, value ^[[13~ appears on screen but when doing echo selection=$selection, my variable "selection" remains empty (selection=)

  • when I push d key, value d appears on screen and when doing echo selection=$selection, my variable "selection" equal (selection=d)

Can someone help me? What am I doing wrong? Why doesn't it work with function keys (F3...)?

Thank you

  • Might try the Unix stack exchange. – pbhj Mar 18 at 19:25
  • is it resolved ? – cmak.fr Mar 19 at 12:26

You can do like this:

  • Read code of keys
    Press Ctrl+v and press a key. F1 for example
    And read the output. F1 gives ^[OP
    Note that ^[ is for Escape that you will write in a script as \e

  • Or get all codes of functions keys
    for x in {1..24}; do echo -n "F$x "; tput kf$x | cat -A; echo; done
    Assuming F13 is Shift + F1

  • Handle keys in script
    With bash functions like while, read, case / esac



ReadKey() {
  if read -sN1 KEY; then
    while read -sN1 -t 0.001 ; do

while ReadKey; do
  case "${KEY}" in
    $'\eOP')   echo 'F1';;
    $'\e[24~') echo 'F12';;
    *) echo    "Keys pressed: ${KEY}";;

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