View Full Version : [SOLVED] Multiple simultaneous keyboards with unique layouts

August 25th, 2010, 05:36 AM
As the title says, I'm interested in two (or more) simultaneous keyboards, each with a unique layout.

Everything I've researched indicates this should be possible, but I'm unable to get it to work. Regardless of how I set things up, all keyboards consistently operate as if they share the CoreDevice setting in xorg.conf. For example:

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Layout0"
Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice "Keyboard1"
Option "Xinerama" "0"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Keyboard0"
Driver "evdev"
Option "CoreKeyboard"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/event3"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Keyboard1"
Driver "evdev"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/event4"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "ad"
In the above config, both keyboards behave as if they're set for the USA layout. Changing the layout in gnome-keyboard-properties affects all of the connected keyboards equally, but has no provision for altering individual devices.

Any suggestions?

August 28th, 2010, 07:37 PM

Depending on what you're trying to do, this can be two or three steps.

1.) Determine which layout will be assigned to each keyboard.

2.) [Optional] create a new keyboard layout if you're after a custom one (I recommend simply altered an existing layout).

3.) Use the setxkbmap command with the -device tag to apply your keyboard maps to the relevant devices. If you don't know your device, start with 1 and work your way up. Be prepared to undo your change by repeating it with your current layout. For example, typing

setxkbmap -device 3 af sets both of my keyboards to Farsi, and typing

setxkbmap -device 3 us sets them both back to US. It's probably best to have this line copied and ready to paste before every change to easily undo your changes.

In my case, I altered the Andorra keyboard layout with my custom, and applied it thusly:

setxkbmap -device 7 ad And that's it! Each keyboard is operating simultaneously with a unique layout. Typing on each results in the keys I want and there is no switching or hotkeys required to make this change.

December 11th, 2012, 12:36 PM
If you don't know your device, start with 1 and work your way up.

Another (better) solution is to use xinput to give you a list of devices:

~# xinput list
⎡ Virtual core pointer id=2 [master pointer (3)]
⎜ ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer id=4 [slave pointer (2)]
⎜ ↳ DualPoint Stick id=11 [slave pointer (2)]
⎜ ↳ AlpsPS/2 ALPS DualPoint TouchPad id=12 [slave pointer (2)]
⎜ ↳ Logitech USB Laser Mouse id=14 [slave pointer (2)]
⎜ ↳ Logitech USB Receiver id=15 [slave pointer (2)]
⎣ Virtual core keyboard id=3 [master keyboard (2)]
↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard id=5 [slave keyboard (3)]
↳ Power Button id=6 [slave keyboard (3)]
↳ Video Bus id=7 [slave keyboard (3)]
↳ Power Button id=8 [slave keyboard (3)]
↳ Sleep Button id=9 [slave keyboard (3)]
↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard id=10 [slave keyboard (3)]
↳ Dell WMI hotkeys id=13 [slave keyboard (3)]
↳ Logitech USB Receiver id=16 [slave keyboard (3)]

You can then use grep or gawk to get the id number. Here is an example:

setxkbmap -device `xinput list | gawk '/Logitech/&&/keyboard/{match($0,/id=([[:digit:]]+)/,f);print f[1]}'` bg
This looks for the keyboard having Logitech in its name and set its layout to bulgarian