KEYB is a localization BIOS extension for DOS.
KEYB can be considered as a keyboard driver which intercepts the
keyboard management BIOS routines in order to adapt non-US keyboards
to the system, and provides other facilities.
(NOTE: KEYB is not a proper device driver, and is not loaded with
DEVICE= in CONFIG.SYS; you run it as a resident program instead).
Required data is read from a keyboard layout data file, a KL file.
A keyboard layout is identified by two labels, a string label, which is
mandatory (usually a two letter string, such as GR, FR or SP), and an
optional numeric identifier to distinguish different variants.
KEYB layoutName[,[CP][,filename]] [/ID:nnn] [/E] [/9] [/I] [/Dx] [/V]
[/L=m] [/NOHI] [/B] [/S]
Parameterless KEYB will show information on the currently loaded KEYB.
LayoutName String identifier.
/ID:nnn Specifies the numeric identifier nnn.
CP Codepage in which you want KEYB to start (if omitted,
DISPLAY.SYS and the system are checked).
filename The KL file that contains the information for the given
layout. If it is omitted, then KEYBOARD.SYS is tried,
/E Specifies that the keyboard is an AT enhanced keyboard
(this switch is incompatible with /9).
/9 Specifies that int9h management services must be activated
(this switch is incompatible with /E).
/I Forces the installation over an already existing keyboard
/Dx Sets the decimal separator character to x.
/U Unloads a KEYB previously loaded in memory.
/V Verbose: shows extra information.
/L=m Forces the usage of submapping m, provided that it is
compatible with current codepage.
/NOHI Avoids KEYB to load data into Upper memory, by loading it
/B Disables sound alerts (Beep).
/S Safemode: does not allow un-closed keyboard layout
collections and blocks strings and other critical commands.
/? Shows the help.
You can program FreeDOS so that keyboard is configured at boot time
by means of AUTOEXEC.BAT.
Append the command line into your AUTOEXEC.BAT to do this.
You can create your own customized layout files by using the compiler
Alternatively, you can use a standard already made KL data file from
the KL file package. (See references below).
KEYB comes with the packet KEYB200.
FD-KEYB is compatible with the EXITCODES (ERRORLEVEL) of MS-KEYB.
However, as a large number of possible error causes is considered, an
alternative numeration of errors is shown on screen at load time.
ExitCode KEYB ErrorCode Error description
0 0 Successful execution
INVALID LANGUAGE, CODE PAGE OR INCORRECT SYNTAX
1 3 Missing keyboard identifier layoutName
1 11 Invalid modifier or switch
1 14 Specified file does not contain information for
1 21 Required submapping does not match with current
codepage: you are using /L=m but the requested
submapping does not correspond with current CP
BAD OR MISSING KEYBOARD DEFINITION FILE
2 4 Specified file could not be opened
2 13 Invalid file, or file corrupt
2 19 Incompatible version of keyboard descriptor
(the compilation file or KL file are of an
2 20 Invalid checksum for data block: the
compilation file is corrupt
3 10 The keyboard table could not be created
4 16 Error in communication with the CON device
5 17 The codepage has not been prepared
6 12 Codepage not found in keyboard definition file
INCOMPATIBLE KEYB OR VERSION FOUND
7 1 Different version of KEYB installed
7 2 Incompatible keyboard driver installed
7 18 Incompatible version of DR-KEYB installed
Not present in MS-KEYB:
RESIDENT PART OF KEYB COULD NOT BE REMOVED
8 5 The resident part of KEYB could not be removed
8 8 KEYB was NOT installed
UNEXPECTED PROBLEM: VISIT THE KEYB SITE FOR A
NEWER VERSION OR CONTACT THE AUTHOR
9 6 Internal failure: Global memory space too small
9 7 KEYB (still) requires an AT/286 or better
9 9 Overloading is (still) not supported
9 15 KL file too large ((still) 3KB maximum)
KEYB SP,858 Loads KEYB with the layout for the Spanish
distribution and codepage 858
KEYB GR,,GR.KL /E Loads the German keyboard layout for KEYB,
explicitely informing KEYB that we are using an
Use this if KEYB cannot identify the presence of
an enhanced keyboard.
Please read this command's lsm file also.
You will find the updated version (internet) here and
the version described in this manual page here.
The lsm file contains information about the name of the programmer,
the download site, and some other command related information.
Copyright © 2003 Aitor SANTAMARIA MERINO, updated 2008 by W. Spiegl.
This file is derived from the FreeDOS Spec Command HOWTO.
See the file H2Cpying for copying conditions.