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ucwcs on Debian testing/unstable

Very long time ago, several UCW sages congregated on the ultimate Czech programmer layout – they ended up with a US keyboard just like usual, except that capslock doesn’t lock case (good in itself!) but acts as a second shift, adding diacritic mark on the letter. So caps+s produces š, caps+e produces é and caps+w produces ě. I have been using that ever since, but when moving to another system, setting this up always was a bit of a challenge.

But currently, the X11 Czech ucw layout is easy to set up on squeeze/sid (I’m currently using squeeze with xorg from sid – works fine). Xorg keyboard configuration is HAL-driven on sid currently, what you need to do is put this to /etc/default/console-setup:

XKBLAYOUT="us,cz"
XKBVARIANT=",ucw"
XKBOPTIONS="grp:caps_switch"

(Though, the way this works, using two groups, I’m not quite sure how to add another layout with reasonably seamless switching. Not my problem, but some other users might want that.)

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  1. lajner
    September 20th, 2009 at 22:11 | #1

    Probably silly question, but anyway: Why doesn’t capslock just make a switch to czech layout?

  2. pasky
    November 3rd, 2009 at 09:47 | #2

    Because czech layout has actually quite a small subset of czech characters available directly, since it has to coexist with all the other characters. If you use a special shift state, you can have many more characters available, even actually not Czech ones – in the past I used caps+v for cé cédille quite a lot. Besides, it’s not like the ucw mapping would be hard to remember at all.

  3. October 24th, 2010 at 22:35 | #3

    For people that are dumb like me, the commands for non-debian systems is:

    ‘setxkbmap us,cz -variant ,ucw -option grp:caps_switch’

    Also, in the most recent X11 servers, there’s a dvorak UCW present, too! Use:

    ‘setxkbmap cz -variant dvorak-ucw’ for it. Right Alt switches to accents.

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