There are (at least) two sides to this problem.  Firstly you must ensure
the FreeBSD is using the right keymap for your country and keyboard.  For
example to get my standard UK keyboard working I had to put the following
line in my configuration:


(and reboot)  Alternate keymaps are stored under:


I don't see one that begins with ir, but you may find one close enough,
and you can always make your own.  They are ascii files so you can read
how they're structured.  "man keyboard" would be an admirable starting
place to read about such things.

Once I had done this all those really useful characters like # @ > \ and ~
were in the right "places" on the keyboard (where the keys advertised they

I also had to tell X about my keyboard:

    Option "XkbLayout" "uk.iso.kbd"

(That style of option may be different in your version of X - check the
man pages - they've changed during the last major release).

If that doesn't fix your problem (which it may do) then we need to know
which terminal program you are using - is it the console or an xterm
window within X?  If its an X program then it could be the bindings, which
can be changed.

On *any* terminal you can normally fix the back space by doing this:

stty erase [Backspace][Return]

That's two keystrokes at the end there, not the literal characters '[ B a
c...' This has the effect that the terminal settings will delete a char
from your current line when you hit the backspace key.

In Emacs you can nearly always work around not having the "meta" key by
typing ESC-x (Emacs then kindly prompts with M-x)

Syntax highlighting is another kettle of fish.  First check is to ensure
your terminal supports colour - can you see any colours of any description
there (such as the FreeBSD install screens)?  Emacs you explicity have to
switch it on (Help | Options | Global Font Lock..) - maybe on another
version you had that was set in your $HOME/.emacs file.  vim I got that
working once, but I forget how off the top of my head...  I'm not really a
fan of vim (except for very large files which vim handles so much better
than vi - in fact it handles them full stop, vi just dies after a
certain size).


On Wed, 10 Dec 2003, Hossein wrote:

> Hello;
>       My FreeBSD box is going to serve some young shell users who have
> begun with Linux. In order to atract them it mustbe as good looking as a
> Linux system but I am having serious peroblem with my terminal settings.
> Some vary important keys such as Back Space, home, end and ... don't work
> in editors such as vim. For example in Emacs the Alt key does not work.       Also
> editors such as vim and Emacs do not show syntax highlighting and so on.
>       Can anybody help me with this problem.
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