Customising the keyboard layout

If you have an American keyboard layout, you can use special characters like brackets [] easier than on the German. But you will miss umlaute like öäü. I saw a solution for that on a friends laptop. He removed his German keyboard layout of his netbook and bought an us one in the Internet. After that he changed his keymap to his needs.

First I back upped my us keymap.

# cd /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols
# cp us us.old

The next step was to move the layout to my home folder and put a symbolic link into the directory.

# mv us /home/user/
# sudo ln -s /home/user/us .

Now I modified the keymap.

# key <AD03> { [ e, E, EuroSign ] };
# key <AD11> { [ bracketleft, braceleft,udiaeresis, Udiaeresis ] };
# key <AC10> { [ semicolon, colon, odiaeresis, Odiaeresis ] };
# key <AC11> { [ apostrophe, quotedbl, adiaeresis, Adiaeresis ] };
# key <AE11> { [ minus, underscore, ssharp] };

Also I added this option.

# include “level3(ralt_switch)”

The key entries are build like that:

A – alphanumeric key; D – fourth row from below; 03 – third key, so this would be the e-key not w because, caps-lock is a control key
AE02 would be the key 1

key { [ , , , ] };

The last option I added is quite important for the American default layout, because without the right Alt-key could not be used to get the third and fourth character for each key. After altering the keymap, you can restart your X-server via Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, but be careful, because all open windows will be terminated immediately.

With this you can add any type of character or symbol for your keymap, like smilies or anything else.

sources:

http://hektor.umcs.lublin.pl/~mikosmul/computing/articles/custom-keyboard-layouts-xkb.html
http://www.whitsoftdev.com/unicodez-xkb/

UPDATE: added ß (ssharp)

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~ by frankooh on 2011-08-18T20:56:51+00:00.

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