FS#21725 - LiveCD doesn't permit changing keyboards to use during installation

Attached to Project: Release Engineering
Opened by Neil Munro (niadh) - Wednesday, 17 November 2010, 11:57 GMT
Last edited by Gerardo Exequiel Pozzi (djgera) - Tuesday, 23 October 2012, 05:38 GMT
Task Type Feature Request
Category ArchISO
Status Closed
Assigned To No-one
Architecture All
Severity Very Low
Priority Low
Reported Version 2010.05
Due in Version Undecided
Due Date Undecided
Percent Complete 100%
Votes 0
Private No



Having used arch linux for a while I decided to switch my keyboard to dvorak (literally just switched the caps around) but after a mistake I had to reinstall, no biggie, until I realised I couldn't do much except press random keys to work out which dvorak letter produced the correct qwerty letter.

I discovered no easy way to change the layout for use during installation and found it a rather difficult issue to work around. I imagine this is true of any non-qwerty layouts that may be used during installation. I have also googled about for many there being an easy solution I missed (which is so often the case in situations like this) but I have not yet found anything.

Steps to reproduce:
Attempt to install arch linux using a non-qwerty keyboard.

Potential solution:
Would it be possible to offer the user a selection before the keymap is loaded (or even reload the key map if required) so a user who is not using a qwerty can easily install arch? Not that I am comparing distros but gentoo has about 60 seconds or so where a user can type in a number to select a keyboard layout, if the user presses nothing in that time it defaults to qwerty.

I realise I have marked this as core, but would I be wrong in thinking it's actually AIF?

This task depends upon

Closed by  Gerardo Exequiel Pozzi (djgera)
Tuesday, 23 October 2012, 05:38 GMT
Reason for closing:  Deferred
Additional comments about closing:  There is no fancy way to do this with syslinux. Some ways was proposed but no feedback was received.
Comment by Gerardo Exequiel Pozzi (djgera) - Thursday, 25 November 2010, 02:58 GMT Comment by Neil Munro (niadh) - Thursday, 25 November 2010, 11:29 GMT
Thanks for the first steps to a solution however I am unsure how to test it.
If you write a brief instructions I will be more than happy to test this and provide feedback.

Comment by Gerardo Exequiel Pozzi (djgera) - Friday, 26 November 2010, 22:26 GMT
this only fix a bit (is not perfect), keyboard mapping in syslinux only. In tty you need to configure keyboard with "loadkeys", or "km".

To test this, you can put syslinux (extlinux for example) in some medium, then copy dvorak.ktl then reference it from config file syslinux.cfg
Comment by Dieter Plaetinck (Dieter_be) - Thursday, 09 December 2010, 08:11 GMT
I've always been interested in implementing a gentoo-style "pick your keyboard layout using arrow keys" during boot. the disadvantage is that everyone would get such menu, even qwerty users (but they can just hit enter). The correct place to call such a picker (which could still be `km` or maybe we should look what Gentoo uses) would be an initscript or maybe through inittab, right before login.
Comment by Gerardo Exequiel Pozzi (djgera) - Saturday, 03 September 2011, 00:02 GMT
@Neil Munro: Taken this again, see [#1]. There is an small image (786K) to test in qemu/kvm [#2].

[#1] http://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-releng/2011-September/002106.html
[#2] http://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-releng/2011-September/002107.html
Comment by Neil Munro (niadh) - Wednesday, 25 April 2012, 17:55 GMT
Sorry for the massive delay, I had to shut down my business due to the recession and deal with that but anyway I am back now.

I like this method, it's much better than my original idea. How do we go about with this? I like it because on my secondary machines (which are qwerty machines so my friends can also use) I don't have to do anything but on non-qwerty I can opt to change it. It's great work and I certainly like it!

Thanks very much!