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I am using differents Unix in VirtualBox on my Macs (MacBook Pro, iMac). I have standard QWERTY keyboards so as to be able to type fluently:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • UNIX shell
  • programming languages: C, Perl, make

With the standard Apple keyboard mapping I am able to type very quickly:

é, É, œ, Œ, à, À, î, Î, ç, Ç, û, Û, ß, ü, Ü…

!, @, #, $, {, }, [, ], ~, ', `, /, \, |, &…

This mapping is:

QWERTY keyboard

and with either the left or right option depressed:

QWERTY alt keyboard

This mapping is very easy to memorize since it only uses 5 option sequences (introduced by the keys in orange) which are on keys most frequently used with the letter on the same key. For example, to type an é, I have to type option+e, e


I would like to use the exact same keyboard mapping of my Mac in Unix environments (I mean not just for command+c).

My experiments with xmodmap proved that I can achieve the exact same keyboard function, but with a few hundred lines of xmodmap file for each keyboard.

What is the clean and general method to get the complete Apple keyboard mapping on the virtual Unix running inside VirtualBox?

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