I use an IBM Model M, so I don't actually have Win keys. In Windows, I've had right-alt set to act as the Win key, and I'd like to set that up on Ubuntu as well. I went to the Keyboard Layout Options http://i.imgur.com/KJOUD.png

and found an option for Left Alt is swapped with Left Win, but I didn't see one to do the same for the right.

Swapping the left just doesn't work for me--Alt+Tab is particularly difficult with only Right Alt acting as Alt. Am I just missing something, or is there no way to swap Right Alt and Right Win?

1 Answer 1


I've answered the same question here: How do I swap Left Ctrl with Left Alt on my keyboard?

The short answer is to create a file called ~/.Xmodmap

It needs to contain the following xmodmap expressions to change the key mapping and reset the modifier mapping for both keys. The file needs to contain the following:

clear control
clear mod1
keycode 37 = Alt_L Meta_L
keycode 64 = Control_L
add control = Control_L Control_R
add mod1 = Alt_L Meta_L

Next time you login the new key mappings will be active. To have the changes take effect immediately run the following from terminal:

xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap
  • Where do I put the ~/.Xmodmap file?
    – Kerrick
    Feb 7, 2012 at 9:14
  • Whenever you see "~/" that means your home directory, that isn't part of the filename it's just the path where you need to put the file. For example my home directory on my Ubuntu machine is /home/peter but I can also write that as ~/. Your home directory will be different to mine but you can access it the same way.
    – cossovich
    Feb 11, 2012 at 1:35
  • AAAH NOOO! You switched my left alt key and my left control key! I do NOT want that! I want left control to be left control, left alt to be left alt, right control to be right control, and RIGHT ALT to be RIGHT SUPER.
    – Kerrick
    Apr 26, 2012 at 21:49
  • @Kerrick You'll need to find out what the keycodes and keysyms are for the RIGHT ALT and RIGHT SUPER. Firstly you need to remove the ~/.Xmodmap file and restart your computer to remove the modified key bindings. <br><br> Next: can you run "xmodmap -pm" from the command line? Paste the output you get here. Also run "xmodmap -pk" from the command line and paste the output and I'll modify the answer based on your keyboard info.
    – cossovich
    May 29, 2012 at 3:04

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