Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

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Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:38 pm

I have installed Linux Mint 14.1-Cinnamon on an ExoPC tablet (x86). I find that it works great! And I especially like the fact that I can enlarge the bottom panel to make it larger for touchscreen use. I also have the virtual keyboard enabled via the Accessibility applet, which works great after logging in.

But, there is no way to enable Accessibility options like the virtual keyboard at the login screen. This is all that is really needed to use Mint on a tablet. I use openSUSE 12.2-Gnome on a different x86 tablet, and that has the ability to enable Accessibility options at the boot screen. Is there any way I can make the virtual keyboard appear at the login screen?

Don't bother suggesting I use auto-login, as that is not a solution or even a work-around. Only fools (and Windows users) leave their systems unprotected, especially something portable and easily stolen like a tablet.

If anyone is interested on the tweaks I had to do after installing openSUSE on an x86 tablet, you can read my thread about it here:

http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/viewpad-10/34658-installing-opensuse-linux-12-1-gnome.html
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby warbuckle on Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:35 pm

Evening

I am curious waht does not work with Linux on your tablet? I currently run smoothbean on my Viewsonic G tab and did not know that any distros worked on a tablet.

Will
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:08 pm

I am talking about tablets that have an Intel CPU (x86). The G-Tablet has an ARM CPU.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby Favux on Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:28 pm

Hi Waterhead,

Welcome to Mint forums!

You used to be able to get an onscreen keyboard with GDM: http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p= ... ostcount=8

Now days at the Unity login screen you can just click on the Accessibility icon and check the onscreen keyboard option. In Mint 12 the only option the login accesability icon (upper right corner) offers is high contrast. Check it in your version.

But just the fact that high contrast is offered means there is likely a way to add an onscreen keyboard I would think.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:39 pm

Thanks for the reply. :)

The Mint 14 login screen does not have anything for selecting Accessibility options. It has options for Language, Session and Actions. None of these have any type of accessibility options available in them. I am aware of the fact that Ubuntu has or had these options, but I stopped using Ubuntu and started using Mint for the same reasons most people did.

I have read about the option to edit the gdm"default" file too. I see that in Mint, there is a similar file in the /etc/mdm/ folder. I will give a try on editing that, and then report back on the results.

Does anyone know the name of the default virtual keyboard that Mint uses?
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:09 am

The tricks outlined for Ubuntu don't work. I installed and enabled the xvkbd keyboard according to the instructions. I see it flash on the screen briefly before the login screen loads. Then the login screen completely covers the virtual keyboard, making it impossible to use.

I may try to install the Gnome 3 DE, so that I can have the best of both worlds, or maybe just install Ubuntu then Gnome 3.

When tablets first came out, the Linux developer community seemed to dismiss them. I feel they missed out on a golden opportunity to introduce Linux to whole new segment of the population. This gave Android a wide-open field, which it took advantage of. Now, Linux STILL isn't readily available for tablets, and Windows had time to develop an ARM version for tablets as well as a touchscreen version (Win 8).

Linux really blew it on this one.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby abnvolk on Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:42 am

Plasma Active is ready :)
You can install LightDM, unity-greeter and OnBoard to get the virtual keyboard at login screen.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:11 pm

abnvolk wrote:Plasma Active is ready :)

I tried earlier versions of Plasma Active, and was not impressed. I just want a Linux Mint desktop, but on my tablet. I will give Plasma active another try, though.
You can install LightDM, unity-greeter and OnBoard to get the virtual keyboard at login screen.

Then I would just have Ubuntu, so why install Mint at all? If Ubuntu has a Gnome 3 desktop that I can install, then that may be the way I will go.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:25 pm

I added the Gnome 3 repositories for Ubuntu, and then installed gnome-shell:

Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell


When it asked, I chose gdm to handle things. I now have the gnome login (with virtual keyboard), and the Cinnamon desktop. This seems to be what I wanted, but things are a bit laggy now. We'll see how it works out.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby abnvolk on Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:46 pm

Glad that you have virtual keyboard now. Mint is designed as a desktop/laptop system (Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce are quite conservative) so its login screen is optimized for desktop users only :)
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:14 pm

abnvolk wrote: (Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce are quite conservative) so its login screen is optimized for desktop users only :)

Yes, but even some desktop users need the accessibility features. Think of handicapped users.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:44 pm

I've now been trying to create a shortcut that will bring up the virtual keyboard when it is needed. But, I haven't been able to find a command that will do it. I tried some gsettings changes, but it didn't do anything. I don't even know what the default virtual keyboard is called! Is it GOK? If I run that as a command, it doesn't work.

If I can find a way to manually toggle the onscreen keyboard, I can create a button to do it.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:51 pm

I found a work-around, of sorts.

I still can't manually bring up the default onscreen keyboard. But I installed one that I can. The matchbox-keyboard seems to work pretty good, and I can control it using a link. After installing it, I find it in Menu > Accessories > Keyboard, right-click it, and select "Add to panel". I can then start the matchbox-keyboard from the panel, but there seems to be no way to then stop/remove it. So, I wrote a 'toggle_keyboard' script to do just that:

Code: Select all
#!/bin/bash

if [ "$(pidof matchbox-keyboard)" ]
then
   killall matchbox-keyboard
else
   matchbox-keyboard
fi


Save it to a convenient folder, and make it executable with the "chmod +x" command. I then right-click the panel icon I previously made, and select "Edit". Type the full path to the script in the "Command" field, and save it. The shortcut will now run the script instead of the keyboard application directly. If it isn't running, it will start it. If it is running, it will stop it.

The matchbox-keyboard isn't transparent, so it hides the bottom of the screen. But this seems to work for me, as if it's in the way, I just toggle it!
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby marklinux on Thu May 02, 2013 9:31 am

Here is my take:
Use mdm + onboard + window manager.

Not sure about the security consequences (more processes running, onboard run macros, etc), but it worked for me.
I especially like the ability to move and resize the keyboard. I use it with my portable mint on usb, on my eeepc with broken keyboard and on a desktop which I dont trust the real keyboard (dont ask :-) ).
HTH.

sudo apt-get install onboard xfwm4

--- My " /etc/mdm/Init/Default " (at end of file):

...lots stuff....
...
xfwm4&
onboard -x 30 -y 30 &
exit 0

EDIT:
LOL , yesterday I could not find the keyboard when logging in. Turns out I Was using my eeepc, with a smaller monitor resolution.
The virtual keyboard was too far below to be seem. So keep onboard close to login screen or use: onboard -x30 -y30 , for instance.
Also note that onboard can be in minimized mode or even transparent! Check the docs.

---- My /etc/mdm/PostLogin/Default
#!/bin/sh
killall onboard
#Seems important: exit 0 . Dont init session if previous command fail.
exit 0
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby smid87 on Wed May 29, 2013 3:44 pm

In Mint 14 it appears that the gnome3 repository is already included. I just ran the last line of your suggestion and voila I now have the abiltity to bring up the keyboard using the menu at the top right!!! I can now use my tablet as a tablet!!!!
No fancy login screen, but it works and that is okay with me. Perhaps someone will build a better login screen. In the mean time I am happy!!!
:D

waterhead wrote:I added the Gnome 3 repositories for Ubuntu, and then installed gnome-shell:

Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell


When it asked, I chose gdm to handle things. I now have the gnome login (with virtual keyboard), and the Cinnamon desktop. This seems to be what I wanted, but things are a bit laggy now. We'll see how it works out.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby waterhead on Wed May 29, 2013 4:59 pm

smid87 wrote:In Mint 14 it appears that the gnome3 repository is already included. I just ran the last line of your suggestion and voila I now have the abiltity to bring up the keyboard using the menu at the top right!!! I can now use my tablet as a tablet!!!!
No fancy login screen, but it works and that is okay with me. Perhaps someone will build a better login screen. In the mean time I am happy!!!
:D


Thanks for the info.

I gave up on putting Linux on my ExoPC tablet. The screen brightness was uncontrollable. The light sensor didn't have proper Linux functionality, and it constantly would dim/brighten the screen. I put Win7/ExoUi back on it. I plan on giving it to my nephew for a graduation present.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby MrSlip on Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:04 am

I just found an easy solution to this in Mint KDE 14.

edit /etc/kde4/kdm/kdmrc so that the line:
UseTheme=true
instead reads:
UseTheme=false

Then, edit /etc/kde4/kdm/Xsetup
insert the following command, PRIOR to the line which begins /sbin/initctl

/usr/bin/kvkbd &

That's it. You'll lose your Mint theme, and the login screen will instead say "Kubuntu". But you'll have a virtual keyboard onscreen.

I'm using this with an Acer Iconia W500.
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Re: Virtual Keyboard at Login Screen

Postby nishishailesh on Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:44 pm

If you are using lightdm, xvkbd
then following works

write following in a file "light", and chmod +x light
==========================
/usr/bin/xvkbd -display $DISPLAY&
=============================

edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf to add following line to given section

[SeatDefaults]
greeter-setup-script=/root/light

reboot

same for onboard etc.
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