Is the Caps Lock button on your keyboard useless? Mine is… or it was until yesterday. The old HP console keyboards, found only in datacenters attached to very large servers, had the ‘Esc’ key where the Caps Lock key traditionally is. It took a bit to get used to that, but very quickly you realized that this was a great spot when you are a heavy VI user.

So yesterday I remapped my Caps Lock key to be another Esc key. In Linux this is easy:

  • Create a file called .Xmodmap in your home directory with the contents:
    remove Lock = Caps_Lock
    keysym Caps_Lock = Escape
  • Run xmodmap: “xmodmap .Xmodmap” or logout and login again.

Presto, the Caps Lock key has become useful!

There are ways to do this in Windows, and Apple of course makes it dead simple (go the Keyboard section of the Keyboard and Mouse preference section).

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