My "return" key is broken. I followed the instructions here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2180748_command-linux-swap-keyboard-keys.html - hoping to reassign my | key as the new return key. My .xmodmaprc file reads as follows:

keycode 51 = 36

But the | key does not act as a return key. Nothing has changed. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong? Thanks so much for any suggestions.

  • Have you tried logging in and out? Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 18:43
  • Thank you for replying - I ended up being able to make it work by using Autokey.
    – begtognen
    Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


Your xmodmap expression is wrong. It needs to be formatted like this:

keycode [keycode] = [keysym]

The keysym is the symbol name of the key you want the "|" key mapped to, which in your case is "Return". So your xmodmap expression needs to be:

keycode 51 = Return

Putting everything back together, the command you want to run is:

[~]$ xmodmap -e "keycode 51 = Return"

(Don't type the [~]$ part, I'm just indicating that you need to run that from terminal).

If you want this to run each time you log in create a file called ~/.Xmodmap with the following contents:

keycode 51 = Return

I hope that works.


You need to run the following in a terminal:

xmodmap ~/.xmodmaprc

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