Squeekboard on Raspberry Pi

Not really other OSes on Librem hardware, but it’s the closest I could think to put this topic.

So I’ve put together a Raspberry Pi with a touchscreen and case for my mother. She likes to have videos playing and to look up recipes on her phone while she’s cooking, so I thought this would be a nice, inexpensive way to give her a bigger screen using a cheap computer that has wifi and bluetooth.

For the touch keyboard, I have installed a program called florence (http site, sourceforge) that does halfway decent, but now it occurs to me that I should be able to install Squeekboard.

Those of you who have used it, how do you feel about it? Is it ready for non-technical folk? Does it look all wonky in landscape mode? How configurable is it (I don’t need lots of config options, just enough to be able to tweak it a bit if I find something is off, layout or positioning, things like that)?

Also, “you could just install it and see for yourself” would be a valid response, but I don’t have access to the Pi at the moment, and won’t 'til Friday evening (it’s Thursday night as I type this).

Any thought/ideas greatly appreciated.


I don’t even have one (unfortunately no time for it, nonexpert), but at least 4GB of RAM version would be good starting point or otherwise … according to and as described within the link. Therefore hope for you it is at least about 4GB version of Raspberry Pi you are about to implement Squeekboard.

the biggest problem with the squeekboard vkb is that it’s not scalable. I.e. regardless of the size of the screen it will be a small rectangle 720 x ~400px hence not really usable in landscape mode. Otherwise neat little flexible vkb.

I sure hope so! This is the most just-worky software I ever made, so for all UX problems please ping me.

You can add your own layouts as long as a layout code exists for it (so you can replace too). Layouts are easy to make I think but not that flexible. The layout language is simple but not documented - help welcome.

Only if you want to compile it from scratch on the same device, and don’t want to use any swap.

Yeah, scaling changes have lost priority compared to other work recently :frowning:

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Well, this is about the resolution of the official raspberry pi touchscreen (800 x 480) so that might kill it right there. Keyboard won’t really be any good if it fills the screen, and an additional monitor isn’t an option for me.

@dcz any suggestions, or will I have to wait before I can resize it?

The keyboard is limited to half the vertical space.

Ah, ok cool. I shall report back this evening then.

Perhaps Round Table category is a better fit.

I tried (not terribly hard, I admit) to put squeekboard on the pi, but one of its dependencies appeared to be gnome-desktop, and i didn’t have the wherewithal to get that sorted (raspbian uses xfce, I believe).

:S I had a hunch that relying on gnome-destop is going to end up badly.

Is gnome-desktop in the repositories at all?

I didn’t look that far, I can try a quick DDG search.

I saw an article by Ste Wright and an answer on stack exchange that say you can install gnome using tasksel, but the article also states there are issues with gnome on the raspberry pi 4.

You don’t have to install gnome. Only the gnome-desktop package.

Right, but that’s all I found (just a quick search). I can look harder later.