Remmina keymap issue with MacOS


This will be a relatively short post specifically meant to help out users of the open-source remote-desktop utility Remmina, who are connecting to MacOS (formerly OSX) devices (or VM’s). I’m connecting from a GNU/Linux system, and I’m not sure if this issue effects Remmina on any other platforms, so YMMV.

The problem is that, by default, the physical keys known as meta (typically the Alt key) and super (sometimes it’s the key with a ‘Windows’ logo) are both mapped by Remmina to function as the MacOS command key. Because of that there’s no obvious way to map the MacOS option key that makes sense. Accepting this problem as-is is not a deal breaker – I’ve put up with it for some time. It is however a pain, and makes it impossible to do some things from the keyboard.

The solution was to add a new preset to a file called remmina.keymap. On GNU/Linux this file is typically located at~/.config/remmina/remmina.keymap(on other operating systems you will have to search for it yourself, but I imagine it has the same filename).

In this remmina.keymap file you need insert a black space after whatever else is in there, and then add the following block:

[MacOS Keys]
Super_L = Meta_L

Now, keep in mind that I don’t have a right-hand super key on my keyboard, but I would guess that just adding the line ‘Super_R = Meta_R’ to the ‘MacOS Keys’ preset would fix that too. Using the default ‘Map Meta Keys’ preset just doesn’t work for MacOS, and it seems to be a matter of not trying to remap the already correct ‘meta’ to ‘command’ keys (as that default preset does) and rather just dealing with the missing ‘option’ key modifier only. That said, I’m not 100% certain why this works… I just know this simple solution fixes things for me – and I hope it helps you too!

I’d like to thank Giovanni Panozzo (@giox069 on Gitlab), and everyone else on this GitLab issue thread! Although I discovered a solution that seems to work, I probably wouldn’t have experimented with this file if I hadn’t first found that thread and took a stab at it too!

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