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How to Use Special Characters on a Virtual Machine Console

The virtual machine console won’t allow you to write some special characters using some keyboard layout. As stated by this VMware KB 2071245.
On my French keyboard, I was able to bypass this limitation using this keyboard combination: Alt + Alt Gr.
The affected characters can include, but are not limited to:

/ (slash)
\ (backslash)
. (period)
– (dash)
_ (underscore)
& (ampersand)
, (comma)
: (semicolon)
$ (dollar sign)
£ (pound sign)
@ (at symbol)

This issue occurs when you use a Swedish, Turkish, German, Swiss, French or Austrian locale on your computer or keyboard.

For example, if you want to print the vertical bar “|”, press the “Alt + Alt Gr” then release them and then press you keyboard combination as usual, for the French keyboard it’s Alt Gr + “|”.

Share your thoughts


  1. I have the same issue.
    I run a CentOS7 with minimal installation(only console) on VMWware and for some reason I can’t use special characters(/, @ and so on).
    I tried other languages for other keyboard layouts, but all the layouts doesn’t work as they should.