As part of a larger plan to do some screencasts, I wrote a simple program to display keystrokes called showkeys. It is similar to key-mon but has less features and a different design that I prefer.

key-mon is more modern looking and tracks mouse as well as keyboard input. It’s prettier, is themable and on the overall, something that fits into a modern desktop better than showkeys. Showkeys has it’s own advantages. These are

  • It doesn’t rely on gtk.
  • It outputs stuff to the screen directly using libXosd and so doesn’t require a separate window. This makes is work better with tiling window managers like Xmonad (which I use).
  • It displays a history of keystrokes which is useful while doing a screencast. Key-mon does this but in an ugly way and doesn’t remember modifiers.

It’s been a while since I coded in C so it’s probably rusty. The program uses the X record extension to capture keystrokes from the X server and then puts them on the screen using libXosd.

Licensed under the GPLv3. Source at Feedback welcome.

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