Using an LK201/LK401 on a Linux computer

If you have a spare LK201 or LK401 keyboard lying around you can hook it up to your Intel based Linux box via its' serial port and through the magic of the modular linux kernel input implementation you can use it to access remote OpenVMS servers and workstations. The translation of specialised keys such as Help, DO, PF1-4 is handled.

Here is an example (1920x1200 JPG image) where I am accessing my DS10L via a VPN connection and displaying remote DECterms on my Linux laptop. The laptop has an LK201 connected and with the appropriate customization I am able to use all the LK-specific keys within the remote DECterms. Makes using TPU a breeze!

*under construction (but everything is here that you need) *
note: you can also connect a DEC mouse to your Linux box.

In order to connect your LK201/LK401 you will need to build a small adapter. The instructions are included in the kernel module detailed below. The converter requires no electronics - it is simply to convert mechanically from the RJ11 attached to the keyboard and a serial PC port (or serial USB adapter). Note that the keyboard requires 9-12V DC, this can either be supplied from the host computer or an external power adapter.

My modified Linux kernel module (kernel < 2.6.23)  /usr/src/linux/drivers/input/keyboard/lkkbd.c
Rename this one to lkkbd.c (kernel >= 2.6.23) /usr/src/linux/drivers/input/keyboard/lkkbd-2.6.23.c

My XModmap files: xmodmap-lk201 and xmodmap-lk401

The script I use at startup to load the Linux kernel module: /etc/rc.d/lkkbd

If your version of inputattach doesn't work, try the one here: linuxconsole.tgz

Procedure:
  1. Make an LK <-> RS/232 adapter for your LK keyboard.
  2. Add lkkbd startup script to your linux startup.
  3. The keyboard will be available with the Find/Insert/Remove/Select keys mapped to Home/Insert/Delete/End respectively
  4. If you are accessing remote DECterms, run xmodmap .xmodmap-lk201 or .xmodmap-lk461 to remap these keys and the Help/Do/F11-F20 keys to their appropriate OpenVMS equivalents. They will send the correct keycodes to your remote DECterms.
  5. Enjoy the experience..
Acknowledgements: with great thanks to Jan-Benedict Glaw <jbglaw@lug-owl.de> the linux lkkbd kernel module maintainer.