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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Configuring a Matias Mac Keyboard
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James Gryphon

Joined: 25 Jun 2018
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun 2018, 00:18    Post subject:  Configuring a Matias Mac Keyboard
Subject description: A bit harder than expected.
 

With my '09 Mac Pro gradually getting obsolete, what with a new, unsupported version of OS X coming out, I started thinking it might be a good idea to look into Linux again. I tried Puppy out in VirtualBox and loved it, so I figured that I'd give it a try here.

For the most part it works out of the box -- sets up just like it did in the virtual system, runs blazing fast, and I didn't have too much trouble doing things like getting the latest version of Firefox.

But the support for my Matias Quiet Pro isn't so simple. At first there's obvious OS differences like the ctrl/alt keys instead of the Mac cmd-opt, which I could live with or try to figure out, but I've found a bunch of other annoying things which, I have to confess, have sapped a lot of the joy out of my experience.

The special function keys (brightness, sound controls, etc.) are all inert. This is a teeny bit annoying, but not a dealbreaker. What's a lot worse, though, is that the up arrow key is apparently mapped to "print screen". (It probably has to do with the fact the Matias keyboard doesn't come with an obvious 'print' key -- the slot where the print key would normally go is taken up by the "fn" switcher key, which is used to switch the function of the special keys with the regular F1-12 which they share a key with). I could cope with the rest for a while, but the arrow key thing is driving me crazy.

I'm thinking I'm going to have to go through a bunch of individual keys to configure what they do. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make these kind of adjustments, or if there's a better way to get this particular kind of keyboard set up, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much for y'all's time.
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bigpup


Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 12463
Location: S.C. USA

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun 2018, 10:50    Post subject:  

Always tell us what exact Puppy version?

menu>Setup>Mouse/Keyboard Wizard>Advanced Configuration>Main>Keyboard Model

Look for something matching your keyboard.
May not find exactly yours, but something close may still work.

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YaPI(any iso installer) http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=107601
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mostly_lurking

Joined: 25 Jun 2014
Posts: 321

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun 2018, 11:52    Post subject:  

James Gryphon wrote:
What's a lot worse, though, is that the up arrow key is apparently mapped to "print screen". (It probably has to do with the fact the Matias keyboard doesn't come with an obvious 'print' key -- the slot where the print key would normally go is taken up by the "fn" switcher key, which is used to switch the function of the special keys with the regular F1-12 which they share a key with). I could cope with the rest for a while, but the arrow key thing is driving me crazy.

Which window manager or desktop environment are you using? The default JWM one, or have you installed something else?

If it's JWM, open Menu > Desktop > JWMDesk Manager > JWM Hotkey. You can edit or delete the screenshot hotkey there.

If you have installed another window manager, you may have to edit its configuration files. Here is a thread by someone who had a similar problem with LXDE/Openbox:
I installed LXDE, now the up arrow starts mtPaint! (Solved)

James Gryphon wrote:
I'm thinking I'm going to have to go through a bunch of individual keys to configure what they do. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make these kind of adjustments, or if there's a better way to get this particular kind of keyboard set up, I'd greatly appreciate it.

If you need some keys remapped, this can probably be done with xmodmap, a command line tool which your Puppy should already have installed. (This ArchWiki article explains some basics and has examples and links for remapping things like control and multimedia keys.)

1. Find out which keycode or key symbol the key you want to change has.

Here are two ways:
Run the command xev in a terminal. It should open a small window; click to select it and press the key you want to test. The terminal output will usually tell you the keycode and keysym/action of the key somewhere.

Alternatively, get a list of your current keyboard configuration and write it to a file:
Code:
xmodmap -pke > ~/.Xmodmap
Look into that file to see which keyboard keycode has which symbols/actions assigned to it. (That's a hidden file in your /root directory. In the ROX file manager, click the "eye" icon to show hidden files.)

2. Change the action assigned to the key

Again, there are two possibilities.
You can edit the above-mentioned file directly, but the changes will come into effect only when you tell xmodmap to use that file:
Code:
xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap

Or you use xmodmap in a terminal to change key assignments, like these examples:
Code:
xmodmap -e "keycode 38 = b"
xmodmap -e "keysym a = b"
(That's a silly example which would change my "a" key - keycode 38, symbol "a" - to "b".) Once you are done configuring this way, save the current setup to the .Xmodmap file:
Code:
xmodmap -pke > ~/.Xmodmap


3. Make the changes permanent

The changed key configuration only lasts for the current session. To re-apply it every time the X server/desktop starts up, you have to tell the system to run xmodmap with its customized config file at start. The documentation one can find online suggests to write the 'xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap' line into ~/.xinitrc, but when I tried that, it didn't work. Alternatively, I created a script file in /root/Startup (a folder for programs that are run when the desktop comes up) with the following content:
Code:
#!/bin/sh

xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap
Name that file whatever you want, but make sure it's executable:
Code:
chmod 755 your_script
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 5276
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Tue 26 Jun 2018, 17:11    Post subject:  

@ James Gryphon:-

Firstly, 'Welcome to the kennels'!

Further to mostly_lurking's post above, you may find this to be of use:-

http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/List_of_Keysyms_Recognised_by_Xmodmap

I've had to re-map several keys on the right-hand side of an old Dell laptop's keyboard, due to an accident involving half a mug of coffee.....so I know this method works.

You may also find this helpful:-

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xmodmap

ArchLinux is one of the hardest distros to get going with, but their Wiki has the enviable reputation of being second to none when it comes to disseminating information that can be adapted to all distros.

If you want to proceed along these lines (and I think this will probably be the best way to do it), let us know, and I'll dig up a few examples of how you use them. They're quite simple; just short, one-line scripts, which you'd place into /root/Startup, so they get executed at boot time.


Mike. Wink

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James Gryphon

Joined: 25 Jun 2018
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu 28 Jun 2018, 11:56    Post subject:  

First of all I'm sorry for the prolonged delay in getting back to y'all.

bigpup wrote:
Always tell us what exact Puppy version?

Sorry about that -- version reporting is #1 on any debug list, but I forgot it here.

It's Xenialpup64 7.5, which seemed to be the most recent version.

Quote:

Look for something matching your keyboard.
I did look through there a few times. The trouble is that the Apple models (like the ones shown in the most usual forms of xorg.lst, and as in Debian/Ubuntu) don't seem to be present here, and there's so many of the others that I haven't any idea what all the differences between them could be and which one might be a reasonable fit.

(That said, there is a Macintosh layout that seems to be very good overall.)

mostly_lurking wrote:

Which window manager or desktop environment are you using? The default JWM one, or have you installed something else?
It is default JWM. I looked at the hotkey and took it out, and that does take care of that problem. I'm curious as to what the difference in keycodes is and the reason for that, as I assume this isn't intended behavior.

Quote:
If you need some keys remapped, this can probably be done with xmodmap, a command line tool which your Puppy should already have installed. (This ArchWiki article explains some basics and has examples and links for remapping things like control and multimedia keys.)
...

Mike Walsh wrote:

http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/List_of_Keysyms_Recognised_by_Xmodmap
...
If you want to proceed along these lines (and I think this will probably be the best way to do it), let us know, and I'll dig up a few examples of how you use them. They're quite simple; just short, one-line scripts, which you'd place into /root/Startup, so they get executed at boot time.


That's probably the approach I'll end up taking. All this should be a good foundation to help work it out, though. At least it's something that you only have to do once. Thanks so much for all of the resources!
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gjf2a

Joined: 14 Jan 2019
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jan 2019, 16:48    Post subject:  

mostly_lurking wrote:


If it's JWM, open Menu > Desktop > JWMDesk Manager > JWM Hotkey. You can edit or delete the screenshot hotkey there.


This worked great for me.

I'll add that I confused myself by trying to delete the Up Arrow shortcut at the top of the list. I had to scroll down to the bottom to find the mysterious key code that mapped to the screen capture in order to be rid of it.
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 5276
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Tue 15 Jan 2019, 08:36    Post subject:  

Just as an example, here's the wee script in /root/Startup that re-maps my 'Backspace' key (one of the irredeemable ones that just isn't going to recover!):-

Code:
# !/bin/sh
#
# Temporary 'Backspace' key workaround script - MochiMoppel:Jan 2017
#
xmodmap -e "keysym Insert = BackSpace"


I re-mapped 'Backspace' to the 'Insert' key, which I don't use, and is next to the 'Delete' key on the Dell's keyboard. That way, I have delete(backwards) & delete(forwards) next to each other.

Hope the example is useful to somebody. This can be used as a template, making use of the link I posted above.


Mike. Wink

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