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the old no working alt key in linux console

From: Harry Putnam
Subject: the old no working alt key in linux console
Date: Sat, 04 Jan 2020 15:27:03 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

As smart as emacs has gotten surely there is some simple technique to
get emacs to use the alt key in console mode.

I haven't had to deal with this for a long time, and am finding piles
of serioiusly complex stuff on google about fixing it.

Working in chroot on linux console (lubuntu) I'm having to use the
escape key to do common things like M-x M-w (copy).  Is there some
simple way to control this...

I'm on emacs 26 .. that what ubuntu has available on the repo.
Working in an xterm but when I call emacs it will only open in -nw
inside the terminal.

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