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Using Dvorak

This guide is an assembly of various notes we've made about methods people have suggested to implement Dvorak Keyboard-layouts on various OSes.

Switching keymap under Redhat Linux

To setup your dvorak keyboard in Redhat Linux, you need to set it up in two places: The Console (command line) and In X.

For the console on a Redhat system, it is one of the special options in Linuxconf. Pull up a terminal window and type linuxconf & if you're already in X windows, or type linuxconf at the command line if you're not.

For X, you can either run xmodmap everytime you log in (put it in your .xinitrc) or change the correct line in your .Xdefaults file to point to the location of the modmap file; it's named dvorak.xmodmap.

Switching keymap under under other *nix

Here's how to set up your Unix machine to try out the Dvorak layout. You need X windows to do this.

First, print out a picture of the Dvorak layout. GIF and PDF versions are on Marcus Brooks' page or you can use the one on this page. Now, follow these instructions IN ORDER (or you'll have trouble changing back to Qwerty). Download the following xmodmap scripts: Qwerty and Dvorak. Then, make an alias to change back and forth easily:

% alias asdf 'xmodmap ~/dvorak.xmodmap'
% alias aoeu 'xmodmap ~/qwerty.xmodmap'

The two aliases use the same physical keys (the four at the left end of the home row) so the same four keys are typed in either Qwerty or Dvorak mode. Then you just type "asdf" to toggle between the two.

Switching to Dvorak under Windows NT

Open Control Panel

Open Keyboard Settings

Click on the Input Locales

Select your location

Click Properties

Choose US-Dvorak from the List


Win9x should be similar

Mac OS 8.5/8.6

Dvorak is already loaded, so you just go to the Keyboard Control Panel (apple menu - control panels - Keyboard), select Dvorak and you're ready. It also enables a menu icon allowing you to easily switch back and forth between the two should you need it.


Dylan's Dvorak Page

Michael Brook's Dvorak Page

Kinetics Ergonomic Keyboard