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By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) International Keyboard Mappings for

From Hector Rivera on Mon, 18 Oct 1999

Hi there,

Sorry for approaching you like this. But I need help. I learned about you from Linux Gazette.

I'm new to Linux but somewhat familiar with Unix. Just installed Caldera Open Linux 2.3 with KDE GUI. I share the HD with Win98.

I want to find how I can configure my US keyboard for US-International mapping, like Win98. I need to be able to have access to latin characters without having to replace the keyboard. Is there a way to setup KDE or X to US-International? If so, how? Will it work with other Linux applications like StarOffice, Word Perfect, email clients, etc?

Let me know if you need more details.

Thanks in advance, Hector

(!) Under Linux your cosnole keyboard mappings are setting in two places.
The text mode virtual consoles are controlled with utilities from the kbd or console-tools package. (Older versions were called kbd; this as been supplanted by the console-tools package since kbd was no longer under active development; think of it as simply a renamed and updated package).
In particular the utility you want is 'loadkeys' which takes mapping files that are similar in syntax to those from the standard xmodmap utility that you find with any implementation of the X Window system.
'xmodmap' and the 'xkeycaps' utility are normally used for X. I don't know if KDE and GNOME have their own frontends for setting xmodmap. I would expect their "control panel" facilities to offer this sort of thing (given that the KDE project was started by Germans, and some of the principle GNOME developers are Mexican, and both projects have developers from all over the world).
The best resource for customizing your Linux keyboard is:
The Linux Keyboard and Console HOWTO
One HOWTO specifically about coping with Linux in Spanish is:
Spanish Linux HOWTO
... although that doesn't seem to have been updated since 1996. There's got be something newer out there!
The LDP (http://www.linuxdoc.org) has a set of non-english links including a section on Spanish web sites at:
You can find a whole list of HOWTOs on Linux support for various other languages at:
This last item is my own modest attempt to arrange a list of links LDP HOWTOs and guides by Topic (http://www.starshine.org/jimd/LDPxTopic.html#international)
(Sometime I should put some more work into it. For now it tries to start with basics and user stuff and progress towards more advanced and obscure topics.)
As for support for non-English in an applications suite, I'd expect StarOffice to have the edge. It was created in Germany and does support several European languages.

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 48 December 1999
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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