Using non-latin language on Librem 5

Two more keyboard layouts and the corresponding merge requests: A German keyboard layout derived from the other European keyboard layouts and a Japanese keyboard layout based on the work of @dcz, but with a 12-key Kana layout.

The files for the layouts can be downloaded here: de.yaml and ja+kana.yaml.

The German keyboard additionally includes most of the French accented characters, but there was not enough space for all of them - sorry.

The Japanese layout is a classic 12-key Kana layout with additional layers of Latin characters and numbers. Maybe it could be used as the basic keyboard layout for Kanji lookup in the future - but that’s still far away.

Please test the layouts and give feedback :slight_smile:

EDIT: Meanwhile, the two layouts have been merged - so there’s no need to download them manually any more. Nevertheless, I updated the links just in case.


I did finish testing the Russian layout and implemented the additional keys on the space bar row as @uzanto suggested. I created a merge request for this last week, just waiting on any feedback.

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I like it! Thank you so much for working on this layout.

Please drop your likes on the GitLab link :slight_smile: We in the trenches don’t always monitor the forums closely, and decisions to merge are based on the comments under the merge requests.


And here’s a screenshot of the Japanese Kana keyboard layout in action with Gnome dictionary (Librem 5 QEMU image):


@dcz I took the time to find the layouts and noticed someone has done a swedish layout (se - shouldn’t it be sv as per standards?). It seems identical to the one finns would use for a touchscreen keyboard, so until a better layout manifests, could you possibly copy and use that for the fi layout as well approve the merge request made by @uzanto?
And big thanks to who ever made the swedish layout!

(edit: and concerning, I suggest using this documentation for a guide for naming layouts/files: “languages-sublanguages-regions-…-special layouts” . Two letter language codes are based on ISO standard 3166 and given additional descriptions if needed (there are lists of languages of the world). Then it becomes identifiable and hierarchical, and additional new layouts (even non-standard) can be added later in a sane way without messing with the main languages/layouts by just adding an additional identifier/code after.)

What about UTF-8 ? It would solve many problems.

UTF-8 doesn’t apply to layouts, unfortunately.

If you post here the differences between layouts I’ll make the merge request.

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No difference with se (which should be sv) touch keyboard. Just copy-paste-rename :slight_smile:
Thanks a lot @uzanto !

(I’ll update the list later).

Waiting for approval

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We’re using GNOME’s way of naming input methods (the settings application lets people select layouts), so we’ll be following that unless it proves insufficient.

But I appreciate the links, they may come in handy in some unexpected moment.

Getting back to topic: do we have anyone working on for instance Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic or Russian inputs? The last one is probably easiest layout wise but still needs a native to work on it.

I created a Russian layout a few weeks back and submitted a merge request but it is outdated now due to breaking changes in the keyboard layout format. I’ve been meaning to resubmit this but I’ve had trouble getting Gnome Boxes to run the qemu image since I updated to Ubuntu 18.04. I hope to be able to get back to this soon.

Good to hear! I’ll mark that as “in the works”.

When you select the Swedish keyboard in the Region & Language panel in Settings, the se input source is enabled, so the keyboard needs to use that instead of sv. I don’t know why it uses se instead of sv - it’s just easier to go with it.

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If someone gets input for Chinese to work like rinokeros asked that would be great because that would have direct parallels to getting a Japanese input to work that way as well (I believe currently it’s just a kind of base kana flick style method?) which is how it works in Linux (Anthy) and Windows.

Right now, the Japanese layout is Kana only with different layers for Hiragana / Katakana and additional layers for numbers and Latin letters. It’s not even flick style, as this is not supported (yet).

For the different missing components/discussions around this topic, take a look at the following issues: #7, #84, #99, #122. The last one is the issue created by rinokeros, but I don’t think there has been made a lot of progress yet.

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I think it’s because there is a mixup of country codes and language codes (see compared to With Swedish and Sweden it’s a small difference (to me - not sure if swedes care) but may cause trouble with some other combos, as country code sv= El Salvador, Estonia is ee or et as are Ewe and Ethiopia etc. Problem being that countries and languages are not the same - a common headache with localization (also why two part codes1, 2 may be needed for variants).

It is not uncommon that sv-se is used for Swedish in Sweden and sv-fi for Swedish in Finland (Finland being a country with Swedish as one official language). This combination is necessary for example if a company has different goods in different countries but use Swedish in both.

For a keyboard layout only the language code is necessary and it would be sv according to 639-1.