Frequently Asked Questions

Quick answers to frequent questions.


Q: I’d like to learn QMK, but don’t know where to start

A: Follow the Syllabus


Q: Do I need to code to be able to use QMK?

A: Nope. A lot of people only use the Configurator. Even if someone decides to write code, usually they do it by adapting the examples in the documentation or other’s code.
(All roads lead to Rome drashna’s userspace.)


Q: What’s the relationship between VIA and QMK?

A: VIA is a tool that allows you modify the keymap of your keyboard on the fly. The firmware on your keyboard will still be QMK.


Q: How do I add VIA support for my board?

A: If the board is already supported by QMK, the steps are the following:

  1. Create a new keymap for your board, called via
  2. Create a rules.mk file in this new keymap’s directory with VIA_ENABLE=yes in it
  3. Create the json file necessary for VIA to know how to handle the board

You can also enable the VIA functionality for your already existing keymap.


Q: I get bash: python3: command not found on Windows, what to do?

A: Restart the MinGW terminal and make sure to start “MinGW 64bit” and not “MSYS”.


Q: I ran qmk setup on Windows, but still get errors, what to do?

A: Restart “MinGW 64bit” and run qmk doctor. If you still get errors ask for help.


Q: QMK Configurator - where is the keymap.c?

A: the Configurator no longer offers keymap.c, instead it provides a keymap.json. You have multiple possibilies with this file:

  • convert it to keymap.c
qmk json2c /path/to/keymap.json -o keymap.c
  • compile it directly from the json
qmk compile /path/to/keymap.json

Q: How do I use accented characters in QMK Configurator?

A: It’s important to understand, that your keyboard does not send characters, but keycodes (actually scancodes, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s say they are the same thing). What this keycodes will represent, depends on the locale settings of your OS.
Let’s say you’d like to type ß. The keycode for this letter in with German locale is the same is the -’s in the US English locale.
Since Configurator uses the latter’s keycodes, if you assign KC_MINS to a key, it will output ß with your German locale.

Use the content of the extra keymaps to find the necessary US English keycodes.


Q: I’ve flashed the wrong firmware and my keyboard is unresponsive. Did I kill it?

A: Likely not. The bootloader should be intact on your keyboard, allowing you to flash the correct firmware. Resetting the board might be harder, though.
Look for:

  • a button on the underside of the PCB
  • a pair of pins (usually labelled RESET) that can be shorted with a tweezer
  • if none of the above is an option, you can also short the RST and GND pins on your board’s microcontroller (not recommended)

Shorting the pins on the microcontroller is potentially dangerous. Use it only as a last resort.


Q: Help, Control and CapsLock (or Alt and GUI) are swapped!

A: You most likely activated a bootmagic functionality. Check the docs for the key that can swap them back.