French-Canadian Keyboard & keyboard switching

PJ af.gourmet at
Fri May 1 13:11:10 UTC 2009

Boris Samorodov wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Apr 2009 16:04:34 -0400 PJ wrote:
>> Tijl Coosemans wrote:
>>> On Wednesday 29 April 2009 15:20:34 PJ wrote:
>>>> Cool. Then I can ask some questions regarding all of this.
>>>> rc.conf: (snipped to show the relevant entries)
>>>> font8x16="iso15-8x16"
>>>> font8x14="iso15-8x14"
>>>> font8x8="iso15-8x8"
>>>> allscreens_flags="VGA_80x60 cyan"
>>>> rpcbind_enable="YES"
>>>> mountd_flags="-r"
>>>> nfs_client_enable="YES"
>>>> nfs_client_flags="-n 4"
>>>> samba_enable="YES"
>>>> cupsd_enable="YES"
>>>> apache22_enable="YES"
>>>> postgresql_enable="YES"
>>>> mysql_enable="YES"
>>>> webmin_enable="YES"
>>>> #keymap=fr_CA.iso.acc.kbd
>>>> Question:
>>>> 1. the font entries? The /usr/share/syscons/fonts/ entry has suffixes
>>>> of .fnt - ???
>>> Your font and keymap settings are ok. The extensions can be omitted.
>>> See the EXAMPLES sections in vidcontrol(1) and kbdcontrol(1).
>>>> 2. the keymap is commented out because, although it gives me the
>>>> fr_CA keyboard, it also uses French messages which are a bit tortured
>>>> (French courtly affectations in the language are quaint but also make
>>>> for long and convoluted terminology - notice that a text translated
>>>> to French is always longer). K.I.S.S.
>>> Keyboard settings shouldn't affect message localisation. Do you set
>>> the environment variable LANG in ~/.login_conf or in a shell startup
>>> script (.profile or .cshrc or other depending on the shell)? If so,
>>> set it to en_CA.ISO8859-15 or something. From q5 below I think you've
>>> currently set it to fr_CA.utf-8.
> No answer. Which locale do you use?
default us
>>>> xorg.conf: (snip for relevant)
>>>> Section "ServerLayout"
>>>> Identifier " Configured"
>>>> Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
>>>> InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
>>>> InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
>>>> Option "AllowEmptyInput" "off"
> Seems that you use new X stuff. X11@ and gnome@ maillist archieves may
> give you some additional information.
>>>> EndSection
>>>> Section "Files"
>>>> ModulePath "/usr/local/lib/xorg/modules"
>>>> FontPath "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/misc/"
> Unless I add cyrillic fonts, I'm not able to see cyrillic
> letters at xterm for my utf-8 locale.
>>>> FontPath "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/TTF/"
>>>> FontPath "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/OTF"
>>>> FontPath "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/"
>>>> FontPath "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/"
>>>> FontPath "/usr/local/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/"
>>>> EndSection
>>>> Section "Module"
>>>> Load "extmod"
>>>> Load "record"
>>>> Load "dbe"
>>>> Load "glx"
>>>> Load "GLcore"
>>>> Load "xtrap"
>>>> Load "dri"
>>>> Load "freetype"
>>>> EndSection
>>>> Section "InputDevice"
>>>> Identifier "Keyboard0"
>>>> Driver "kbd"
>>>> Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
>>> This might have to be pc105, but it probably doesn't matter.
>>>> Option "XkbLayout" "us,ca"
>>> Check out
>>> If you have Canadian Multilingual Standard, this option needs to be set
>>> to "ca(multi)". If you have Canadian French, set it to "ca" or
>>> "ca(fr)".
>> This does not set it to the Canadian French; nor can I find anything
>> that does... only my lame setup works using the French azerty (which is
>> rather a pain because it involves complicated finger moves to get the
>> accented characters - I'm familiar with it and can use it; it's just a pita.
> Phil, you didn't say which keyboard do you use and which options you
> have tried.
> Anyway, you may look at /usr/local/share/X11/xkb/rules/xorg.lst  [1]
> for options that can be used at xorg.conf for keyboards.
> And you may be interested in looking at /var/log/Xorg.0.log.
> There are many useful diagnistics at this file.
>>>> Option "XkbOptions" "grp:toggle"
>>> If you don't need layout switching just delete this.
>> I guess I wasn't clear. Toggling was meant to mean switching back and
>> forth; switching - just once. I would like to use switching but it seems
>> to only work one way. Can't switch back. rtAlt switches from us to the
>> ca (which oddly seems to mean French, but nothing to do with Canadian or
>> French Canadian. Only fluxbox brings it back and then rtAlt no longer
>> works. Weird.
>> Any idea where the documentation is for this?
>> The man page is rather foggy and has no mention of XkbOptions or
>> XkbLayout or anything about "grp:toggle"
> Looking at [1] should help.
Hi, Boris,
Thanks much for your input. I looked at all the possibilities, like the
profile, login.conf files, logs, google and have finally configured all
as I like. Everything works fine...
EXCEPT - it is impossible to install a French-Canadian keyboard/keymap
(without creating one - and I'm not about to get into that) on xorg
(with fluxbox as wm)
As I just responded to Tijl Goosemans, the true French Canadian keyboard
produces the most common accented characters with one keystroke; the
French or old Fr-Canadian uses 2 keystrokes. I can assure you because I
am typing on that keyboard right now. I switch between us & fr_ca with
ShiftAlt. the key to the right of the p/P key is used to create the
circumfex (lowercase) in conjunction with a vowel or umlaut (uppercase).
In Xorg, the toggle/switching is set with Option "XkbOptions"
"grp:alt_shift_toggle" or just alt or shift, I think. Also you can list
several languages, like "us,ru,es,fr" and switch from one to the next
(haven't tried, but I think it works); and "CoreKeyboard" must have a
boolean option set - either yes or no - "yes" works for me. I suppose
you could enter true/false, but I haven't tried. No need.

Hervé Kempf: "Pour sauver la planète, sortez du capitalisme."
Phil Jourdan --- pj at

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