Changing Keyboard Layouts/Variants in Felicia XFCE (GUI)

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Changing Keyboard Layouts/Variants in Felicia XFCE (GUI)

Postby blevo on Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:07 pm

Ok, I've read through 5 or 6 threads looking for this but here we are... I apologize if this is meant to go in the XFCE area and not Newbies. Please move if that's the case. Or tell me so I can move it (not that I actually know how...)

This is for Felicia XFCE (but I might princess about the Main edition too so). My problem's on top, the rant's on the bottom.

Open up the Keyboard Preferences. Layouts Tab. I am able to add layouts and variants but to my knowledge have no way to change between them. I am able to change layouts by only having one layout in the table and changing it every time (ie edit us to us-dvorak). I haven't found what keyboard short-cut is able to change between them if there is one. So I haven't found where to change it either.

From my perspective the Layouts tab in Keyboard Preferences is nearly useless.

If this is not possible with the gui and I must change my xorg.conf I'm more than willing to do that but I'd also view it as a failure on this "Keyboard Preferences GUI" part. If that's the case please point me to instructions on how to configure multiple layouts in X and how to change the keyboard short-cuts as well.

Also, what is the advantage to choosing the specific Keyboard Model?

In the Main Edition my complaints are the default circles on the right as I'm unable to click them and just as in XFCE no amount of double-clicking, right-clicking, or middle-clicking will do anything. The way I change the keyboard in Main is to click and drag the bottom one (eg USA dvorak) above the top one. This also makes that keyboard the default I believe. As far as I know the "Apply System Wide..." button does absolutely nothing. I found out how to change with the keyboard shortcut by clicking into the advanced options there but I had to change it to "ALT-CAPSlock" as "alt+alt" and "ctrl+ctrl" didn't work. I suppose the keyboard on my laptop doesn't differentiate between left and right buttons (I haven't changed the keyboard model, maybe that would remedy). But get this, when I have USA-dvorak in the top default position I am unable to change back to default using the shortcut "ALT-CAPS." What I mean is I can change to USA with the key-shortcut but not back to the variant. It just stays at qwerty. Interesting no?

~Steven
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Re: Changing Keyboard Layouts/Variants in Felicia XFCE (GUI)

Postby viking777 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:20 am

See
Code: Select all
 man setxkbmap


Not a gui I know but it might do what you want.

Don't ask me how it works, I don't know.
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Re: Changing Keyboard Layouts/Variants in Felicia XFCE (GUI)

Postby blevo on Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:19 pm

After learning a little about the setxkbmap command I typed in a command to try it out:
Code: Select all
setxkbmap us dvorak-classic grp:alt_caps_toggle -v 10

This is what I got:
Code: Select all
Setting verbose level to 10
locale is C
Warning! Multiple definitions of keyboard layout
         Using command line, ignoring X server
Warning! Multiple definitions of layout variant
         Using command line, ignoring X server
Applied rules from evdev:
model:      pc105
layout:     us
variant:    dvorak-classic
options:    grp:alt_caps_toggle,lv3:ralt_switch
Trying to build keymap using the following components:
keycodes:   evdev+aliases(qwerty)
types:      complete
compat:     complete
symbols:    pc+us(dvorak-classic)+inet(evdev)+group(alt_caps_toggle)+level3(ralt_switch)
geometry:   pc(pc105)

This did set my keymap to dvorak-classic (which has the numbers at the top mixed up too if you're wondering) but I don't know how to setup two layouts to switch between the two (or three). I'm guessing I can put these terms into my xorg.conf file (which would make it the X server's) but I still don't know how to do multiple keyboards. Would I do like:
Code: Select all
layout     "us" "gb"
for two layouts? (don't remember the syntax right now for that file. Where the quotes go and if there are <>'s or not). and the same idea for variants? Just put two on the line with the variant option?
Code: Select all
variant   "dvorak" "dvorak-classic" "dvp"
Then I'd have to put in the option for the alt-caps change of course.
I'll probably try this out later on tonight and I'll get back to you all. Nevertheless, one should be able to do it in the keyboard settings gui. Perhaps I'll have to post on another board for XFCE as I think that is their tool, what do I know?

~Steven
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Re: Changing Keyboard Layouts/Variants in Felicia XFCE (GUI)

Postby viking777 on Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:48 am

what do I know?


A lot more than me about this particular tool! Sorry :(
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Re: Changing Keyboard Layouts/Variants in Felicia XFCE (GUI)

Postby blevo on Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:49 pm

Thankyou Viking for pointing me to setxkbmap. It certainly got me going in the right direction and I've learned a bit about this command in the process.

The layout tab in "Keyboard Preferences" appears to use this setxkbmap command but doesn't provide any way to switch between layouts as far as I can tell. There's no button to set up a keyboard toggle (like the GUI for the Main edition has). I'm guessing the goal for this tab in "Keyboard Preferences" is to have settings for different users where one user has a layout as default and another can have a different layout. So I assume it makes a script unique to each user that is run whenever the user signs in, and changing the settings in the layout tab changes the script and then runs the script at the same time (but I don't know anything about scripts so...). This would leave the configurations for X untouched. Good idea.

From my short experience with this tool though it looks like it wasn't executed very well. There's no way to switch between layouts with this tool by simple mouse clicks. There's also no way to choose default layout with this tool. In order to change keyboard layouts one can use the Keyboard Layout Switcher plugin for the panel [and now my Panel just disappeared. Fantastic] but one should be able to do it straight from this tool without having to add an icon to one's panel. [and the Panel is not coming back. Great, time to learn how to fix something new. The L in linux stands for Learning.] Not to mention the panel plugin does not define a keyboard short cut and doesn't differentiate between variants. The choices for qwerty, dvorak-classic, dvorak, and programmer's-dvorak (dvp) are "US, US, US, US" respectively.

After some research it seems the Keyboard Switcher plugin has a newer version that looks far more useful. But I'll have to figure out this panel problem now and I need to move this thread to another sub-forum, suppose it's not a newbie question. Now, if I can figure out how to do that...

~Steven
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