American keyboard - Debian

This is a discussion on American keyboard - Debian ; I have just set up Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Sarge using the DVD off September Linux Magazine. There are a few small details to learn, but I have a problem with the keboard map. Although the KDE set-up wizard asked me ...

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Thread: American keyboard

  1. American keyboard


    I have just set up Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Sarge using the DVD off
    September Linux Magazine.
    There are a few small details to learn, but I have a problem with the
    keboard map.

    Although the KDE set-up wizard asked me what language I use, it would
    only offer American English
    (in spite of showing a Union Flag).

    I could live with this bu typing " for @ for example, but I would
    prefer to learn how to change keymaps
    either using the splendid set of toolds, or by using the CLI on Konsole.

    Can some-one point me to the appropriate "Fabulous Manual" (as in
    "Read The") ?

    Best regards,

    Geoff


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  2. Re: American keyboard

    Geoff Bagley schrieb:
    ....
    > Although the KDE set-up wizard asked me what language I use, it would
    > only offer American English
    > (in spite of showing a Union Flag).

    ....
    > Can some-one point me to the appropriate "Fabulous Manual" (as in
    > "Read The") ?


    The program is called Kxkb (but probably maskerades under a more
    descriptive name) and manifests itself with a small flag in the control
    bar. There is a manual for it.

    Theo Schmidt


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  3. Re: American keyboard

    Hello Theo,

    Many thanks for the reply.
    I have two other machines on my system which both started off using
    Woody, and were
    later upgraded to Sarge. They both got the correct keymap for my
    British keyboard.

    The problem arose when I tried to install Sarge (initially) on a third
    machine using a DVD from Linux Magazine.
    I know that the installer is a new one, but it seems odd that it should
    have slipped up in this way.
    I am sure it must be me who is at fault !

    There are indeed packages available to do this, but by editing or
    changing individual keys.
    Surely there is still a correct UK English locale with the appropriate
    keymap still ?

    I wonder how bilingual people get on. Can they switch between differing
    alphabets ?

    I'll keep looking !

    Thanks for your help.

    Geoff


    Theo Schmidt wrote:

    > Geoff Bagley schrieb:
    > ...
    >
    >> Although the KDE set-up wizard asked me what language I use, it
    >> would only offer American English
    >> (in spite of showing a Union Flag).

    >
    > ...
    >
    >> Can some-one point me to the appropriate "Fabulous Manual" (as in
    >> "Read The") ?

    >
    >
    > The program is called Kxkb (but probably maskerades under a more
    > descriptive name) and manifests itself with a small flag in the
    > control bar. There is a manual for it.
    >
    > Theo Schmidt
    >



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  4. Re: American keyboard

    Geoff Bagley wrote:
    > There are indeed packages available to do this, but by editing or
    > changing individual keys.
    > Surely there is still a correct UK English locale with the appropriate
    > keymap still ?
    >
    > I wonder how bilingual people get on. Can they switch between differing
    > alphabets ?


    There are two methods (being a Czech student living in Boston, MA, I have a
    lot of experience with i10n issues :-)). First, the old Unix method --
    "edit configuration file". In this case, it is /etc/X11/xorg.conf and one
    of the sections "InputDevice" looks like this (line broken for this
    message) for Czech/US keyboard:

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
    Driver "kbd"
    Option "CoreKeyboard"
    Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
    Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
    Option "XkbLayout" "cz,us"
    Option "XkbOptions" "compose:caps,ctrl:ctrl_aa,\
    lv3:ralt_switch,grp_led:scroll,grp:shifts_toggle"
    Option "XkbVariant" "qwerty,"
    EndSection

    Documentation for this is in /etc/X11/xkb/README.config.

    Then there is KDE-way. Go to Control Center/Regional &
    Accessibility/Keyboard Layout and switch on keyboard layouts and then set
    up your keyboard as you wish.

    Best,

    Mat?j

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    Matej Cepl, http://www.ceplovi.cz/matej/blog/
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    I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying
    I approved of it.
    -- Mark Twain



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  5. Re: American keyboard

    Thank you Matej.

    I tried it the KDE way, and it worked first time.

    However, when you have a choice of two, as I suppose you do, do you
    have to go
    through the same procedure each time you wish to swap alphabets ?

    Best regards, and thanks to the list.

    Geoff.

    >Then there is KDE-way. Go to Control Center/Regional &
    >Accessibility/Keyboard Layout and switch on keyboard layouts and then set
    >up your keyboard as you wish.
    >
    >Best,
    >
    >Mat?j
    >
    >
    >



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  6. Re: American keyboard

    Geoff Bagley wrote:
    > However, when you have a choice of two, as I suppose you do, do you
    > have to go through the same procedure each time you wish to swap
    > alphabets ?


    Of course not -- the point is that you can the "Layout" tab more than one
    keyboard layout (it would be cz and us in my case) and then you tab
    "Switching options" (for applet in kicker, which signalizes which layout is
    active in the moment and allows switch via mouse), or you go to Xkb options
    (xkb being a part of X which handles keyboard) and then you can switch many
    options (BTW, disallowing CapsLock or switching it with Control would go
    there too) including my preferred "Both Shift keys together change
    group" (in short you can imagine group being an equivalent of the different
    national layout). Then I just press both SHIFT keys and I have US keyboard
    (from the default Czech).

    Mat?j

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  7. Re: American keyboard

    On Saturday 04 February 2006 2:56 pm, Matej Cepl wrote:

    > there too) including my preferred "Both Shift keys together change
    > group" (in short you can imagine group being an equivalent of the different
    > national layout). Then I just press both SHIFT keys and I have US keyboard
    > (from the default Czech).


    I wonder if this has something to do with what the main layout is. I tried
    playing around with this option just now, and it doesn't seem to do anything
    at all. In the Spanish keyboard layout, the AltGr (Right Alt) key doesn't
    work either, unless I also press Right Ctrl, so to get a > I have to hit
    Right Ctrl+Right Alt+Right Shift+x, which really sucks. As such, it would be
    really cool to come up with a quick way to swap layouts on the fly, so I can
    go back to the real layout to enter symbols like this. (Programming must
    *suck* for everyone not using an English keyboard layout.)

    I've never been able to make heads or tails of what the various "Xkb Options"
    things do, and/or none of them have ever actually worked. I never did get
    the Windows keys working either. The closest I came was winding up in a
    state where pressing one of them would freeze my kernel.

    Ah well, I'm mostly just complaining to hear myself talk, I guess. I've
    figured out how to accomplish everything I need to accomplish. It just isn't
    as tidy as I'd like, and it has a faint air of being broken, so that I'd be
    confused if I ever used a Spanish keyboard setup that actually worked the way
    it normally does.

    --
    D. Michael 'Silvan' McIntyre ---- Silvan
    Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621

    Author of Rosegarden Companion http://rosegarden.sourceforge.net/tutorial/


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  8. Re: American keyboard

    D. Michael 'Silvan' McIntyre wrote:
    > I've never been able to make heads or tails of what the various "Xkb
    > Options" things do, and/or none of them have ever actually worked. I
    > never did get the Windows keys working either. The closest I came was
    > winding up in a state where pressing one of them would freeze my kernel.


    If you have updated sid, then try to use this in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

    Section "InputDevice"
    * * * * Identifier * * *"Generic Keyboard"
    * * * * Driver * * * * *"kbd"
    * * * * Option * * * * *"CoreKeyboard"
    * * * * Option * * * * *"XkbRules" * * *"xorg"
    * * * * Option * * * * *"XkbModel" * * *"pc104"
    * * * * Option * * * * *"XkbLayout" * * "es,us"
    * * * * Option * * * * *"XkbOptions" * *"compose:caps,ctrl:ctrl_aa,\
    lv3:ralt_switch,grp_led:scroll,grp:shifts_toggle"
    EndSection

    (and of course switch off all stuff in KDE Control Center).

    What does it do?

    Matej

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    -- Walter Kerr



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  9. Re: American keyboard

    On Saturday 04 February 2006 9:00 pm, Matej Cepl wrote:

    > * * * * Option * * * * *"XkbOptions" * *"compose:caps,ctrl:ctrl_aa,\
    > lv3:ralt_switch,grp_led:scroll,grp:shifts_toggle"
    > EndSection
    >
    > (and of course switch off all stuff in KDE Control Center).
    >
    > What does it do?


    Well, I flipped it around, "us,es" because Spanish is my "alternate" keyboard,
    but I did try just that. It doesn't seem to have done anything at all. No
    change in keyboard behavior. Even just running an xterm in a simple xinit
    session to rule out any KDE involvement.

    Oh well. I'm familiar with what I have to do to get the right characters to
    come out in the languages I write, even if it feels like it's probably
    broken.

    Thanks for trying, and I will stop hijacking this thread now. I hope the OP
    solved his problem once and for all.

    --
    D. Michael 'Silvan' McIntyre ---- Silvan
    Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621

    Author of Rosegarden Companion http://rosegarden.sourceforge.net/tutorial/

  10. Re: American keyboard

    D. Michael 'Silvan' McIntyre wrote:
    > Well, I flipped it around, "us,es" because Spanish is my "alternate"
    > keyboard,
    > but I did try just that. It doesn't seem to have done anything at all.
    > No
    > change in keyboard behavior. Even just running an xterm in a simple xinit
    > session to rule out any KDE involvement.


    What's your version of Debian? If it is not sid, then the things are
    slightly different. Do you have anything interesting
    in /var/log/Xorg.0.log?

    Matej

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    World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
    -- Albert Einstein



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  11. Re: American keyboard

    On Sunday 05 February 2006 3:12 pm, Matej Cepl wrote:

    > What's your version of Debian? If it is not sid, then the things are
    > slightly different. Do you have anything interesting
    > in /var/log/Xorg.0.log?


    I'm running a fairly up-to-date Sid with some miscellaneous packages from
    Alioth and other sources, I guess. I switched to X.org a long time ago, if
    that's what you're getting at.

    The only thing in here that looks interesting to me is

    (==) Keyboard: CustomKeycode disabled

    In this context, and repeated later for "Core Keyboard" too:

    (**) |-->Input Device "Generic Keyboard"
    (**) Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
    (**) XKB: rules: "xorg"
    (**) Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
    (**) XKB: model: "pc104"
    (**) Option "XkbLayout" "us,es"
    (**) XKB: layout: "us,es"
    (**) Option "XkbOptions"
    "compose:caps,ctrl:ctrl_aa,lv3:ralt_switch,grp_led: scroll,grp:shifts_toggle"
    (**) XKB: options:
    "compose:caps,ctrl:ctrl_aa,lv3:ralt_switch,grp_led: scroll,grp:shifts_toggle"
    (==) Keyboard: CustomKeycode disabled
    (**) |-->Input Device "Configured Mouse"


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  12. Re: American keyboard

    D. Michael 'Silvan' McIntyre wrote:
    > The only thing in here that looks interesting to me is
    >
    > (==) Keyboard: CustomKeycode disabled


    Try to Google on this string (or Google Groups) -- there are some hits, but
    I didn't have time to go through all of them.

    > In this context, and repeated later for "Core Keyboard" too:


    *too*!!! you have TWO definitions of keyboard? Can you please post content
    of "ServerLayout" section?

    > (**) |-->Input Device "Generic Keyboard"
    > (**) Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
    > (**) XKB: rules: "xorg"
    > (**) Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
    > (**) XKB: model: "pc104"
    > (**) Option "XkbLayout" "us,es"
    > (**) XKB: layout: "us,es"
    > (**) Option "XkbOptions"


    What happens when you run this in konzole/xterm?

    setxkbmap -vvvv -rules xorg -model pc104 -layout "us,es" -option "" \
    -option
    "compose:caps,ctrl:ctrl_aa,lv3:ralt_switch,grp_led: scroll,grp:shifts_toggle"

    (yes, there are two -option parameters and yes it is all on one line in
    konsole)

    Matej

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    crazy.
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  13. Re: American keyboard

    On Sunday 05 February 2006 8:45 pm, Matej Cepl wrote:

    > *too*!!! you have TWO definitions of keyboard? Can you please post content
    > of "ServerLayout" section?


    Nah, that's not what it means. I'm not sure exactly what it does mean, and
    I'm too lazy to go read the docs. This part of the file is all
    auto-generated except for the bits I just added, which you should recognize:

    Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
    Driver "keyboard"
    Option "CoreKeyboard"
    Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
    Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
    Option "XkbLayout" "us,es"
    Option "XkbOptions"
    "compose:caps,ctrl:ctrl_aa,lv3:ralt_switch,grp_led: scroll,grp:shifts_toggle"
    EndSection

    And then this bit:

    Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "Default Layout"
    Screen "Default Screen"
    InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
    InputDevice "Configured Mouse"
    EndSection


    > What happens when you run this in konzole/xterm?


    Warning! Multiple definitions of rules file
    Using command line, ignoring X server
    Warning! Multiple definitions of keyboard model
    Using command line, ignoring X server
    Warning! Multiple definitions of keyboard layout
    Using command line, ignoring X server
    Trying to build keymap using the following components:
    keycodes: xfree86+aliases(qwerty)
    types: complete
    compat: complete+ledscroll(group_lock)
    symbols: pc/pc(pc104)+pc/us+pc/es:2+group(shifts_toggle)+level3
    (ralt_switch)+ctrl(ctrl_aa)+compose(caps)
    geometry: pc(pc104)

    Well now...

    This worked, and did what I was expecting. Holding both shift keys toggled
    between US and Spanish layouts clickity click. That's pretty handy! Beats
    having to go move the mouse to click on the little flag.

    The effect was short-lived, though, and went away as soon as I switched back
    to a KMail window. That was probably because of KDE getting in the way, I'd
    guess. I'm back in my normal environment at this moment, and KDE's language
    switcher is probably involving itself in this.

    I'll have to keep futzing around with this, now that you've proven to me that
    it can be worth the effort to pursue this. Maybe I will crack open a man
    page.

    Thanks.

    --
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    Author of Rosegarden Companion http://rosegarden.sourceforge.net/tutorial/


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  14. Re: American keyboard

    D. Michael 'Silvan' McIntyre wrote:
    > The effect was short-lived, though, and went away as soon as I switched
    > back to a KMail window. That was probably because of KDE getting in the
    > way, I'd guess. I'm back in my normal environment at this moment, and
    > KDE's language switcher is probably involving itself in this.


    Just disable everything in Control Center/Regional & Accessibility/Keyboard
    Layout (I mean, *everything* in *all* tabs).

    Matej

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    people, but to be wrong for more sophisticated reasons.
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