#wayland #python #x #dynamic #key #keyboard #linux #faster

app xremap

Dynamic key remapp for X and Wayland

26 releases

Uses new Rust 2021

0.4.4 Jun 22, 2022
0.3.4 May 6, 2022
0.3.0 Feb 23, 2022
0.1.6 Dec 30, 2021
Download history 10/week @ 2022-03-07 57/week @ 2022-03-14 57/week @ 2022-03-21 31/week @ 2022-03-28 56/week @ 2022-04-04 13/week @ 2022-04-11 4/week @ 2022-04-18 214/week @ 2022-04-25 323/week @ 2022-05-02 77/week @ 2022-05-09 429/week @ 2022-05-16 137/week @ 2022-05-23 227/week @ 2022-05-30 93/week @ 2022-06-06 24/week @ 2022-06-13 40/week @ 2022-06-20

411 downloads per month

MIT license


𝑋𝑟𝑒𝑚𝑎𝑝 ⌨️ cargo

xremap is a key remapper for Linux. Unlike xmodmap, it supports app-specific remapping and Wayland.


  • Fast - Xremap is written in Rust, which is faster than JIT-less interpreters like Python.

  • Cross-platform - Xremap uses evdev and uinput, which works whether you use X11 or Wayland.

  • Language-agnostic - The config is JSON-compatible. Generate it from any language, e.g. Ruby, Python.


  • Remap any keys, e.g. Ctrl or CapsLock.
  • Remap any key combination to another, even to a key sequence.
  • Remap a key sequence as well. You could do something like Emacs's C-x C-c.
  • Remap a key to two different keys depending on whether it's pressed alone or held.
  • Application-specific remapping. Even if it's not supported by your application, xremap can.
  • Automatically remap newly connected devices by starting xremap with --watch.
  • Support Emacs-like key remapping, including the mark mode.


Download a binary from Releases.

If it doesn't work, please install Rust and run one of the following commands:

cargo install xremap --features x11   # X11
cargo install xremap --features gnome # GNOME Wayland
cargo install xremap --features sway  # Sway
cargo install xremap                  # Others

You may also need to install libx11-dev to run the xremap binary for X11.

Arch Linux

If you are on Arch Linux and X11, you can install xremap-x11-bin from AUR.


Write a config file directly, or generate it with xremap-ruby or xremap-python. Then run:

sudo xremap config.yml
If you want to run xremap without sudo, click here.

Running xremap without sudo

To do so, your normal user should be able to use evdev and uinput without sudo. In Ubuntu, this can be configured by running the following commands and rebooting your machine.

sudo gpasswd -a YOUR_USER input
echo 'KERNEL=="uinput", GROUP="input"' | sudo tee /etc/udev/rules.d/input.rules

Arch Linux

The following can be used on Arch.

lsmod | grep uinput

If this module is not loaded, add to /etc/modules-load.d/uinput.conf:


Then add udev rule.

echo 'KERNEL=="uinput", GROUP="input", MODE="0660"' | sudo tee /etc/udev/rules.d/99-input.rules

Other platforms

In other platforms, you might need to create an input group first and run echo 'KERNEL=="event*", NAME="input/%k", MODE="660", GROUP="input"' | sudo tee /etc/udev/rules.d/input.rules as well.

If you do this, in some environments, --watch may fail to recognize new devices due to temporary permission issues. Using sudo might be more useful in such cases.

See the following instructions for your environment to make application-specific remapping work.


If you use sudo to run xremap, you may need to run xhost +SI:localuser:root if you see No protocol specified.

GNOME Wayland

Install xremap's GNOME Shell extension from this link, switching OFF to ON.

If you use sudo to run xremap, also click here.

Update /usr/share/dbus-1/session.conf as follows, and reboot your machine.

   <policy context="default">
+    <allow user="root"/>
     <!-- Allow everything to be sent -->
     <allow send_destination="*" eavesdrop="true"/>
     <!-- Allow everything to be received -->


Your config.yml should look like this:

  - name: Except Chrome
      not: Google-chrome
      CapsLock: Esc
  - name: Emacs binding
      only: Slack
      C-b: left
      C-f: right
      C-p: up
      C-n: down

See also: example/config.yml and example/emacs.yml


modmap is for key-to-key remapping like xmodmap. Note that remapping a key to a modifier key, e.g. CapsLock to Control_L, is supported only in modmap since keymap handles modifier keys differently.

  - name: Name # Optional
    remap: # Required
      KEY_XXX: KEY_YYY # Required
      # or
        held: KEY_YYY # Required
        alone: KEY_ZZZ # Required
        alone_timeout_millis: 1000 # Optional
    application: # Optional
      not: [Application, ...]
      # or
      only: [Application, ...]

For KEY_XXX and KEY_YYY, use these names. You can skip KEY_ and the name is case-insensitive. So KEY_CAPSLOCK, CAPSLOCK, and CapsLock are the same thing. Some custom aliases like SHIFT_R, CONTROL_L, etc. are provided.

If you specify a map containing held and alone, you can use the key for two purposes. The key is considered alone if it's pressed and released within alone_timeout_millis (default: 1000) before any other key is pressed. Otherwise it's considered held.


keymap is for remapping a sequence of key combinations to another sequence of key combinations or other actions.

  - name: Name # Optional
    remap: # Required
      # key press -> key press
      # sequence (MOD1-KEY_XXX, MOD2-KEY_YYY) -> key press (MOD3-KEY_ZZZ)
          MOD2-KEY_YYY: MOD3-KEY_ZZZ
        timeout_millis: 200 # Optional. No timeout by default.
      # key press (MOD1-KEY_XXX) -> sequence (MOD2-KEY_YYY, MOD3-KEY_ZZZ)
      # execute a command
        launch: ["bash", "-c", "echo hello > /tmp/test"]
      # let `with_mark` also press a Shift key (useful for Emacs emulation)
      MOD1-KEY_XXX: { set_mark: true } # use { set_mark: false } to disable it
      # also press Shift only when { set_mark: true } is used before
      MOD1-KEY_XXX: { with_mark: MOD2-KEY_YYY }
      # the next key press will ignore keymap
      MOD1-KEY_XXX: { escape_next_key: true }
      # set mode to configure Vim-like modal remapping
      MOD1-KEY_XXX: { set_mode: default }
    application: # Optional
      not: [Application, ...]
      # or
      only: [Application, ...]
    mode: default # Optional
default_mode: default # Optional

For KEY_XXX, use these names. You can skip KEY_ and the name is case-insensitive. So KEY_CAPSLOCK, CAPSLOCK, and CapsLock are the same thing.

For the MOD1- part, the following prefixes can be used (also case-insensitive):

  • Shift: SHIFT-
  • Control: C-, CTRL-, CONTROL-
  • Alt: M-, ALT-
  • Windows: SUPER-, WIN-, WINDOWS-

You can use multiple prefixes like C-M-Shift-a. You may also suffix them with _L or _R (case-insensitive) so that remapping is triggered only on a left or right modifier, e.g. Ctrl_L-a.


application can be used for both modmap and keymap, which allows you to specify application-specific remapping.

  not: Application
  # or
  not: [Application, ...]
  # or
  only: Application
  # or
  only: [Application, ...]

To check the application names, you can use the following commands:


$ wmctrl -x -l
0x0280000a  0 gnome-terminal-server.Gnome-terminal  ubuntu-focal Terminal
0x02600001  0 nocturn.Nocturn       ubuntu-focal Nocturn

Use the name after . in the third column (WM_CLASS), i.e. Gnome-terminal or Nocturn in the above output.

GNOME Wayland

busctl --user call org.gnome.Shell /org/gnome/Shell org.gnome.Shell Eval s 'global.get_window_actors().map(a => a.get_meta_window().get_wm_class());'


swaymsg -t get_tree

Locate app_id in the output.


xremap is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.


~188K SLoC