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Crikey! A program to generate typed key events on Linux

My husband used to complain about a piece of functionality he missed from Mac and Windows QuickKeys: the ability to assign a key shortcut to a string. For example, he might want to be able to store his username on F1 and then use it quickly in any application. He might even want to do the same for his password, setting aside the obvious security issues.

Linux, despite its generous configurability in nearly every other respect, seems to lack this ability. So I wrote Crikey! Conveniently Repeated Input Key -- a little program that simulates key events.

$ crikey -h
crikey! version 0.8.4
        by Akkana Peck,

Usage: crikey [-itxr] [-sS sleeptime] string...
        -s seconds: sleep time before sending
        -S milliseconds: sleep time before sending
        -i: Interactive (read input from stdin)
        -t: Use XTest to send events (default)
        -x: Use XSendEvent to send events
        -r: Send events to root window (only with XSendEvent)
        -l: Show long (more detailed) help
        -d: Show debug messages
$ crikey -l
Crikey input options:

Normal letters: just type the letters, e.g. crikey my long string.

For most of the following special cases, it's best to use
single quotes so the shell won't strip out the backslashes.

Control characters: ^A sends a Control-A.
To send a plain ^, use ^^.
Numeric ASCII codes: \12
Special codes: \t tab, \b backspace, \n newline, \r return, \d delete, \e escape
Modifier keys: \S for shift, \C control, \A alt,
  \M or \W for the "Windows" key.
Special symbols: \(Return\) (defined in /usr/include/X11/keysymdef.h)
  but only those defined on your keyboard will likely work.)

  crikey '\CL': print a control-L (clear the screen).
  crikey '^L': print a control-L (clear the screen).
  crikey "echo foo \(greater\) /dev/null"
  crikey "wall\nHello, world\n^D"
  crikey '\(Up\)': send an up-arrow.
  crikey -t "\A\t":
    Should change the active window (in most window managers).
    This needs XTest (-t) and doesn't work with XSendEvent.
  crikey '~\Cz':
    When sshed into another computer: should suspend the ssh.
  crikey 'oHere is a line\e\e'
    In vim, not in insert mode. Should add a line, leave
    insert mode then beep if your machine supports that

For more details, see the Crikey! page on my website.


Crikey! A program to generate typed key events on Linux







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