I just purchased a ZAGGmate case with Bluetooth keyboard. I immediately logged into a Linux machine via iSSH and opened up vim. I can type just fine on this little keyboard, but I am having difficultieas with several keys.

First, the Esc key is bound to the home screen key. I tried holding Fn while pressing Esc. Sadly, that did not do the trick.

Also, the control key does not seem to work. For example, CTRL-F and CTRL-B do not scroll forward and back a page in vim. Any clue how to correct that situation?

Update: I found an iSSH setting that maps option key chords to control key chords. That solves my second problem. Also, I can now press CTRL-[ to get the same effect as pressing Esc. So, I'm not mad enough to return the keyboard to the store anymore. Any help with the first part of the question would still be very much appreciated.

  • @Judge Maygarden If this doesn't get answered here, you may want to try posting to one of the Unix/Linux boards. Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 0:00
  • @Nathan Which one would be appropriate? I originally put this on superuser and it got moved to this apple board. Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 3:21
  • I would recommend unix.stackexchange.com Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 3:40
  • @Nathan OK, thanks. I'm going to try ZAGG and Zingersoft customer support first. I'll submit an answer here if I get a good response. Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 14:08
  • I have the same problem. What iSSH option did you find? Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


I've developed a terminal for iOS (it is not released, is intended as a base for other projects) and I have tried for hours to see any kind of event or modifier when meta keys are used on an external keyboard. The only way to get these events is to use private APIs and if you do that you can't get your app on the store. I have filed an issue (Apple rdar 10283552) and hopefully this will change in a future release.

So the problem is not your keyboard, it is iOS. I think you have found the best solution with key chords, unless you want to use one of the better apps like Prompt, which gives you "soft" meta keys on the screen - but the whole point is to keep your hands on the external keyboard, I know.

I don't know for sure if Prompt keeps those meta keys visible when a BT keyboard is connected - it can be done in code - if it did maybe soft metas would be better than nothing.

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