Monday Sep 21, 2009

Keyboard Layout configuration using HAL

A couple of months ago; Solaris Nevada and OpenSolaris started using HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer). Now, all Input Device Configuration is done through HAL rather than xorg.conf.

HAL, uses XML files for its configuration and store them in  /etc/hal/fdi/policy/ directory. The syntax of these files is very intuitive and if you have ever modified xorg.conf file, you will find it very simple to work with these files.

Before HAL was integrated, some people used to configure their Keyboard Layout and Keyboard Settings using xorg.conf but since HAL integration this configuration is not working any more...

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Wednesday Jan 07, 2009

Switching keyboards in OpenSolaris using setxkbmap and keyboard shorcuts

As current OpenSolaris 2008.11 binary distro have several options how to change keyboard layouts, there are still some issues reported by users which are a bit confused about Input Method Switcher GUI, which is default tool to switch between various input methods and keyboard layouts. From any reason if you not satisfied with the tool or keyboard layout there is not the one you need there is still option which can bring all the comfort of switching between keyboard layouts using your preferred shortcut.

The solution is based on setxkbmap utility and desktop shortcuts. OpenSolaris is using GNOME by default by almost all other window managers provide possibility to create custom keyboard shortcut, which is all what is needed.

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Thursday Apr 03, 2008

Keyboard Gaps in Solaris

One of the role of globalization team is to provide seameless input to any SW system.


As for Solaris, there are several ways how to achieve this goal described in previous blog recently. Shortly:
  • Using Input Method Framework (IIIMF Properties panel)
  • Using kbd utility
  • Setting up the settings for Xorg, especially if you are dealing with multiple keyboard layouts
There are several projects defined in order to improve keyboard support in Solaris. Some of those projects were already  integrated to Nevada, some of them will be delivered to Solaris very soon.
  1. setxkbmap utility porting to Solaris
    This utility can change keyboard maps on fly and it was already integrated to Nevada build 85. See more ...

  2. Create interface(s) between Xorg/Xlib and Input Method Framework (IIIM Properties) that can be used to query and set keyboard layout for the current Xorg server.

  3. Update Input Method Framework (IIIM Properties) to set Xorg keyboard layout dynamically (on fly).

  4. Add Virtual keyboard support, so it can be used for various layouts for all languages.

  5. Increase the coverage in SunOS keyboard layouts.

  6. Increase the coverage of keyboard layouts for console during Solaris installation.

  7. Increase the coverage in Xorg XKB keyboard layouts. Integrate additional keyboard layouts available in Xorg to Solaris.

  8. Publish "Sun Standard" Keyboard maps in cooperation with i18n OS.o UserGroups for all languages in Solaris. The draft version has been created and published at genuix.org sites.

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Solaris l10n & i18n, locales, keyboards, fonts and related topics.

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