We have an IBM BladeCenter T with 4 blades, which is connected to an IBM Rack Console via a D-Link 8-port KVM. The BladeCenter also has it's own internal KVM. Several other servers are also connected to the DKVM.

The console works fine with all the other servers, but somehow the keyboard layout got changed to french (azerty) on the BladeCenter's port of the KVM. The layout is french for all 4 blades (using the BladeCenter's KVM to switch between them). The Blades themselves are running Linux and are configured for 'et' (estonian) layout (according to /etc/sysconfig/keyboard).

Is there any possibility the BladeCenter's internal KVM is messing up the keyboard layout? Any other ideas what could be causing this?


OK, I think I will have to answer my own question here - the lesson learned being "never assume things work as configured". :)

After re-thinking everything, the most logical assumption was that for some reason, the configured keymap was not being used. Checked the logs from the last reboot and yes, there was a line keytable: Loading keymap: failed. Looked at the /etc/init.d/keytable script and used the same command as in there, just without error redirection:

[root@server root]# loadkeys et
Loading /lib/kbd/keymaps/i386/qwerty/et.kmap.gz
unknown keysym `currency'
/lib/kbd/keymaps/i386/qwerty/et.kmap.gz:5: parse error
syntax error in map file
key bindings not changed

So, the estonian keymap which came with the distro's console-tools package turned out to be faulty. The keyboard used in that case was in /etc/sysconfig/console/default.kmap, which was french (the server came from France originally). Seemingly, someone had tried to change the console keymap but never checked whether it actually worked (and done so on all 4 blades).

As the physical keyboard was actually swedish, I tried loadkeys se-latin1, which gave no errors. For changing the layout, CentOS/Redhat has a simple tool called kbdconfig, which changes /etc/sysconfig/keyboard and also copies the right keymap to /etc/sysconfig/console/default.kmap (but did not issue any warnings about the 'et' keymap). I will check weather the keyboard works as expected when I get to the datacenter next week.

Bonus question: How can I find out the keymap currently being used by the Linux console?

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Not likely. You can rule that out by hooking up a monitor/keyboard directly to the BC T or hooking up another machine to that port of the KVM.

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