A guide to creating layouts¶
This guide is based on the original Kareema’s forum post.
It’s long overdue to write a comprehensive guide how to add a keyboard layout from start. But unfortunately, I don’t have much time left ATM. A lot of information can be found in this thread.
So at least I will try to start writing a short how-to here and edit this post as I find the time. Hope this helps a bit - comments and corrections welcome
Creating a new layout¶
Creating a layout is easy. You don’t need to recompile things, just edit and test. It’s easiest to start with an existing layout, with the layouts documentation in hand.
Get one of the existing keyboard layouts¶
Creating the keyboard layout¶
To be written: For the time being, take a look at Using non-latin language on Librem 5
Select and enable the input source you would like to change from the Region & Language section of the device settings. Perhaps use “A user-defined custom layout” listed under Other.
Find the correct name of the .yaml file associated with that input source. This can be found with the command
gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.input-sources sources
The output should be something like this:
[('xkb', 'us'), ('xkb', 'de')]
So for example “de.yaml” would be the correct name for the German keyboard layout.
If the name of your layout is not translated correctly in the list, you can fix it by adding it and recompiling Squeekboard.
There is also associated files for that layout in landscape, terminal, number, emoji mode. They can be found at something analogous to
Testing the layout¶
Copy your yaml file to
~/.local/share/squeekboard/keyboards/ for testing purposes. From there it should get picked up by squeekboard automatically.
The yaml file will overwrite the default settings for that layout. If you want to go back to default, simply remove the file.
You can also use the
test_layout tool from the -devel package to check it for errors:
# squeekboard_test_layout ./mylayout.yaml Test result: OK
Contributing your changes¶
If you want to share your layout with the world, the best way is to submit it to the Squeekboard project. The workflow is similar to any other Gitlab-based project.
Above all, your layout should be working, be tested, not break anything, and make sense.
Fork your own copy of squeekboard¶
Best way would be to start with a fork of the squeekboard repository: Create a user account at https://source.puri.sm/, go the the squeekboard git repository, press “Fork” in the web interface. You can find further instructions here.
Clone your fork locally with
git cloneand use the uri of your forked repo there
Edit your keyboard and get it merged¶
It may be useful to check out the generic guide how the workflow to contribute works
Create a branch: Name it “keyboard-layout-mylanguage” or whatever
Checkout your branch, edit your keyboard layout and commit your changes
Your layout must be correctly named, and in
Your layout must pass the
test_layouttool with zero problems.
Your translation must be correctly named, and in
Your layout or translation must be added to automatic tests. Don’t forget to add it to
src/resources.rsand the layout to
tests/meson.build(that’s for me, because I always forget it).
Get it merged¶
It’s always recommended to compile and run squeekboard before submitting your changes. This serves as a test that all is working. See instructions in the compiling section.
Push the local changes (to the branch of your fork of squeekboard)
Create a merge request for the branch to get your changes merged to the official squeekboard git repository
If your changes pass automated tests (CI), then the merge request will be reviewed by the maintainers, and you might be asked to change a thing or two.
Compiling and running Squeekboard¶
If you want your change to become part of official Squeekboard, or if you want to add a translation of your layout name, you will have to recompile Squeekboard and test your changes there.
Follow the instructions found in “Building” section of the squeekboard’s README: Running squeekboard: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/squeekboard/blob/master/README.md#building
Follow these instructions to run squeekboard: https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/squeekboard/blob/master/README.md#running
Additionally take a look at the contribution document for testing info
You can either test it locally on your Linux system or use the QEMU Librem 5 image
To test squeekboard locally, you need phoc. Either compile that from the sources as well or use the CI repository ci.puri.sm for Debian based systems:
deb [arch=amd64] http://ci.puri.sm/ scratch librem5
Squeekboard can be installed from there as a Debian package, too (that’s what I often do). But beware - there be dragons! You could bork your system with these packages and you should probably disable this repository again after installing what you need - these packages are not meant for production systems (or so I heard :wink: )