Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Want to map your keyboard with the keyboard for your VM?

Recently I had to work in VMs for few of my projects and the biggest burden is the changes in keyboard. I am using a Mac and wanted to use Windows on a VM for a project. It is really irritating when you have to work in both environments interchangeably. You will definitely press cmd + c to copy in your windows VM and wonder why cmd + v won't work :O

I could find a simple solution for this with the help of autohotkey.
So this is how I map the Mac keyboard to Windows VM. ( and I am using VirtualBox)

Map the hostkey of the VirtualBox to right command key.

Start VirtualBox
Select VirtualBox > Preferences from the top menu

Input > Virtual Machine
Search for 'host key combination' and set the right command key for the key combination

Setup the VM to have changes

Download autohotkey to VM
Create a file in VM with extension .ahk ( ie: script.ahk )
Following is a sample content for the file with some of the most useful key mappings

#SingleInstance force
#r::Send ^r ;reload
#z::Send ^z ; undo
#y::Send ^y ; redo
#f::Send ^f ; find inside apps
#c::Send ^c ; copy
#x::Send ^x ; cut
#v::Send ^v ; paste
#t::Send ^t ; new tab, Firefox
#s::Send ^s ; save inside apps
LWin & Tab::AltTab ; the motherlode, alt-tab!
#b::Send ^b ; bold / bookmarks in Firefox
#i::Send ^i ; italic
#u::Send ^u ; underline
#a::Send ^a ; select all

Save the content and save the file.
Right click on file and do 'run as administrator' and you are ready to go... :)

Add the script to the Startup Programs

Add your file to Startup folder and you will have no issue with VM restarts...
Start > Program Files > Startup

Hope you will find your life with VMs much more easier with this.

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