Emulate a keyboard button via the Command Line



As an IT administrator, you may find yourself needing to emulate a keyboard button or keystroke via the command line. This is especially useful if you are automating tasks or need to run a certain command that requires a keypress. Fortunately, this can be done in various ways depending on the operating system you are using.

On Windows, the most common way to emulate a keyboard button or keystroke via the command line is by using the SendKeys command. This command can be used to simulate just about any key combination or single-key press. To use the command, you first need to open a command prompt and navigate to the directory where the script containing the command is located. You then need to type in the SendKeys command followed by the key combination or single-key press you want to simulate. For example, if you wanted to simulate pressing the Enter key, you would type in SendKeys \~(enter)\.

On macOS, you can also emulate a keyboard button or keystroke via the command line using the AppleScript command. This command works similarly to SendKeys on Windows, but instead of typing in the command and key combination, you need to write a small AppleScript program to do this. For example, if you wanted to simulate pressing the Enter key, you would need to write an AppleScript program with the following code:

tell application \System Events\
\tkeystroke return
end tell

This program can then be saved and run from the command line with the following command: osascript [filename].scpt.

If you are using Linux, there are several different methods you can use to emulate a keyboard button or keystroke via the command line. The most common methods are the xdotool and xte commands. The xdotool command works similarly to the SendKeys command on Windows, allowing you to type in the command followed by the key combination or single-key press you want to simulate. For example, if you wanted to simulate pressing the Enter key, you would type in xdotool key Return.

The xte command works a bit differently, as it requires you to write a small script containing the command and key combination you want to simulate. This script can then be saved and run from the command line with the following command: xte [filename].sh. For example, if you wanted to simulate pressing the Enter key, you would need to write a script with the following code:

#!/bin/bash
xte 'key Return'

These are just a few of the ways you can emulate a keyboard button or keystroke via the command line. While the exact commands may differ depending on the operating system you are using, the general idea is the same: use the appropriate command for your operating system to simulate the key combination or single-key press you need.

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