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RedHat 5 users

There is a special version of the binary for you! See below.

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What are these ?

Dead keys are keys which do not produce characters when pressed, but change the way the next keystroke will be interpreted (eg, the diaeresis and circumflex accent are often dead keys.)

So, what's up, Doc ?

In X Consortium X11 (and in XFree86, which is directly derived from it), there is no general mechanism for dead keys handling anymore. Consequently, only internationalized clients have dead keys now (i18nized clients are those which know of Input Methods.)

This is a big problem whenever you want to type in text with accented letters in a non-i18nized client.

A solution !

To address this problem, I have produced a modified libX11, which handles dead keys transparently for all clients. This new version will also try to handle unknown compose as two-character sequences (eg. ~ + / => ~/).

It is based on XFree86 3.3.1 libX11. It can nonetheless be used as a drop-in replacement for the libX11 from any of the following distributions : X11R6, X11R6.1, X11R6.3, XFree86 3.2.

Warning: this library was generated with ProjectRoot equal to /usr/X11R6/. It requires that the X11 i18n files be present under /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/locale/.

Usage instructions :

Beware !

Please do back-ups before following this instructions. If anything goes wrong, delete and re-run ldconfig.

I hereby decline any liability for consequences of this procedure.

Knowns problems


NEdit users may have problems with the library. Recompiling NEdit with the USE_XMIM option has been reported to help fixing these problems.

Other information

A more detailed assessment of the X Consortium policy regarding dead keys handling by Andre D. Balsa.


If you want to build your own binary from source, you will have to apply the relevant patch on your X11 source tree.

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Last update: 1998-10-19