Keyboard Utilities

Here are some utilities for keyboard handling in Linux. Maybe you find something of interest to you.

Binding keys

xbindkeys allows you to bind key combination and mouse movements to shell commands. Most window managers and desktop environments offer their own key binding utilities, but 'xbindkeys' is window manager independent and also captures 'extra' keys on 'Internet keyboards' and such. RPM is available from the website.
Make sure to also get the graphical configuration utility, XBindKeys_Config (RPM available from website.

Touch-Typing Tutors

Several programs allowing you to train typing without having to look at the keyboard are available:

  • The console based GNU Typist is included in Mandrake Linux (package 'gtypist').
  • ~TuxTyping "is an educational typing tutor for children". RPM is available from the website.
  • KTouch might be the most advanced touch typing training program for Linux. It is included in Mandrake Linux since mdk8.2 (package 'ktouch') and part of the 'kdeedu3' package for KDE3.
  • dvorak7min is a console typing tutor for keyboards featuring the Dvorak layout.
Read the review on 'Linux Journal' by Marcel Gagne for in depth information.

Control Keyboard LEDs

Most keyboards feature status LEDs for certain key functions, usually '~ScrollLock', '~ShiftLock' and '~NumLock'. You can use these LEDs for displaying various bits of system information like incoming e-mail, network traffic, system load and what not. You can then use LED status monitors to display those blinking LEDs on your desktop … ;-)

Two of them are:

  • ifled displays network activity using the keyboard LEDs. Package included in Mandrake Linux 8.2.
  • Ledcontrol uses an even more general approach. It allows you to let your LEDs show practically anything which has two states. Comes with a graphical configuration interface ('gled')..
Freshmeat has more.

On-screen Keyboards

xvkbd and GTKeyboard display a virtual keyboard on the screen for people who can't or don't want to use the keyboard for character input. 'GTKeyboard' is included in Mandrake Linux 8.2 (package 'gtkeyboard').

Remote Control

Utilities like xremote allow you to take over the input devices of a remote machine. RPM is available from the website.

section index

KB - Advanced Administration of the System > Keyboard Utilities
Version 1.6 last modified by ptyxs on 27/09/2006 at 16:00


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Creator: ptyxs on 2006/09/27 15:20
(c) Mandriva 2007