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Thread: Colemak Keyboard Layout

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Omaha, NE
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Colemak Keyboard Layout

    A while ago, I started using the Colemak Keyboard Layout. Basically, it's a public domain layout that's slightly better than dvorak and easy to learn for qwerty users. (see

    Anyway, right now the implementation I'm using is a .sh script with xmodmap, I think. I wanted to see if colemak could be included with all the other layouts in the standard keyboard switcher. This would make my life a lot easier. It would allow me to set it as default, and to switch between layouts with one of the many available widgets.

    Also, I'd like it if it could be included in the installer's keyboard layouts.

    The .kmap files are available at, as well as any other data one would need.

    In the mean time, If you as a viewer were like me, always looking at your fingers when you typed and not using proper form at all, I think trying this layout would behoove you. The fact that it's 55% less finger movement than qwerty, the q, w, a, h, z, x, c, v, b, m, ,, and . keys are in the same spot, and the capslock is backspace allows for much facilitated proper typing. Colemak is the first layout I really touch typed in. The special characters are sweet too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Chicago, IL
    Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex

    Re: Colemak Keyboard Layout

    I would like to see it included too. I heard Debian is doing it, and it should be in the next

    I figured it'd be included in Gutsy if that were the case, but so far I have yet to find it.

    It's not like it would be a major addition, it's only like a couple bytes that no one will miss.
    I couldn't see adding it to the repository making any sense at all, since it's so small.

    Colemak is the 3rd most popular keyboard layout, second to dvorak. With the quality of the layout, i wouldn't doubt it if it were to become more popular than dvorak. In all realism, i don't see it beating qwerty. It is still a very nice choice to those who want something better and are willing to learn it. The same arguments I've heard against colemak are pretty much the same against Linux.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: Colemak Keyboard Layout

    I am also interested in doing this. Not just for Colemak, a more solid fix would just to allow users to add .kmap files that will be found in the drop down list when we go to change our keyboard lay out. I have to do some thing in Terminal to get the Colemak keyboard lay out working.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Re: Colemak Keyboard Layout

    To enable easy switching to Colemak you could try what LordHedgeHog did with Dvorak in this thread. I like the idea of Colemak, but I've already put in the effort to swich to Dvorak. And obviously, support for Colemak has a long way to go, while Dvorak is an ansi standard and is included even in windows. Wow! I sound just like the people who down dvorak, saying there's no point in switching because it's just a constant hassle. I'm so sorry.
    I salute you, Colemak Crusaders!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Colemak Keyboard Layout

    I was about to make a new Thread about this, but the extra helpful search function brought me here.

    I have been comparing layouts at THIS WEBSITE and it turns out that colemak actually beats dvorak in the text I entered (some people may find others easier, but that's why we should have a choice). At the moment, dvorak is there but colemak is not. And, to my knowledge, DDvorak isn't there either. To those who aren't aware, DDvorak is a variation of dvorak designed with developers in mind. Seeing as how a lot of us are working in the terminal, this is VERY useful for linux users.

    Either way, I would very much like if colemak was added to the list of layouts for those who find it easier.

    For those who don't already know, Colemak will be included in Hardy Heron.
    Last edited by thepocketdrummer; February 7th, 2008 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Included in hardy


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