ALT-L at Ubuntu 11.04 at VMWare Fusion (Macintosh)

To map the ALT-L key of my Macbook Pro keyboard to the @ char in a Ubuntu virtual machine using VMWare Fusion I used a ~/.Xmodmap file. In Ubuntu I had configured a Apple Laptop keyboard. In VMWare Fusion's Preferences I had the Mac Profile assigned to the Ubuntu VM. That's working but there are some glitches like a non-working Mac application switcher shortcut when the VM is active. There is a better way to map Mac keys to Ubuntu keys:

  • Remove/rename your ~/.Xmodmap file. Power down the Ubuntu VM.
  • In VMWare Fusion > Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse: Choose Edit Profiles and assign the Default profile to the Ubuntu VM. This will actually map most Mac related keys to PC standard keys. Even cmd-C/cmd-V works for copying to the clipboard.
  • In Ubuntu: System > Preferences > Keyboard: Choose the Layouts tab, there pick a Generic keyboard instead of an Apple keyboard.

BTW: When upgrading the VM to Ubuntu 11.04 I encountered an annoying bug which prevents setting the choosen theme resulting in using a default theme (read more at Launchpad #649809 ). The bug seems to vanish when using 2 processor cores in the VM settings instead of 1.