Are Enter Keys Coded Differently?

Patrick Asselman iceblink at
Fri Jul 12 14:12:51 UTC 2013

On 2013-07-12 14:16, Graham Todd wrote:
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> On Thu, 11 Jul 2013 11:48:29 -0400
> Doug <dmcgarrett at> wrote:
>> Amend my previous reply: Running showkey (need root perms) on my kb
>> gives 96 for the far right enter key and 28 for the normal enter 
>> key.
>> This is on an IBM model M keyboard, which works fine with any 
>> American
>> computer. I don't know what the other layout was for.
>> Sorry for the misinformation earlier.
>> --doug
> Thanks Doug, that was very helpful.
> First of all, I'm using a Genius keyboard, keymapped to English (GB). 
> I
> get the same codes as you when pressing the same keys (Normal Entry
> key=28, Far Right Enter key=96).
> There are obviously two different codes for some reason, but it still
> eludes me, as the keys are supposed to be for the same purpose.
> Patrick Asselman suggested that you should not use a different key 
> for
> the Enter key when creating passwords.  It came to my notice that 
> there
> could be a different coding only after creating a couple of 
> passwords.
> Does it mean that one key should be used in preference when creating
> passwords; I couldn't find the answer when using the Startpage search
> engine, but its now useful to have some information! My gut feeling 
> is
> that it would make the passphrase more secure if you used the Enter 
> key
> with the 96 coding, but I'm happy to be corrected on that matter.
> Again, thanks to Patrick and Doug for all their detailed help
> ++
> Graham Todd

Heh, well... originally there were Enter keys and Return keys. The 
return key steps down a line and returns to the left side of the line. 
The enter key may only step down a line, or get you to the next column, 
or confirm your input without moving the cursor. Older keyboards make a 
clear distinction between the name of both keys. But many computer 
manufacturers used the keys in different ways, which made it confusing 
to the users. This may be why at some point they were both used to 
achieve the same thing. Nowadays a whole new generation does not even 
know the difference. On the keyboard where i'm typing this (a stock Dell 
thing) both keys are even named the same, although one shows an arrow 
and the other does not.

Best regards,
Patrick Asselman

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