Long story short, I was trying to make a custom layout (hybrid Polish-Norwegian, adding åøæ on level 3 and 4 for |';), and somehow messed up the configuration. Despite reverting the offending file (/usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/pl) to its original state (diff indicates it is the same as the one in the repository), the Polish programmer's Dvorak layout is damaged somehow. Most of the keys are fine, except the top alphabetic row, which looks like:

$&[{}(=*)+]!# without shift
~%7531902468` with shift

Something went incredibly wrong, and not even upgrading Mint from 17.1 all the way up to 18 did not help. What I've tried:

  • Various ways of rebooting, dpkg-reconfigure xkb-data and rm /var/lib/xkb/*.xm. No apparent change.
  • Copying the pl file and pointing /usr/share/X11/xkb/evdev.xml at it. No change in behaviour.
  • Upgrading to a Mint version that uses Xenial, since I've read that the previous versions had problems with XKB.

Any other ideas on what I might try? Doubly so if you also know how to achieve my original goal of hybridizing the PL Dvorak into PL/NO Dvorak.

  • There are actually two places for keyboard layouts on Linux, one for the Kernel (see loadkeys/dumpkeys), one for X. X normally just uses the kernel layout, unless you tell it otherwise. So maybe you damaged the kernel layout files, too? Try to reinstall the corresponding packages. – dirkt Oct 22 '16 at 5:56
  • For a custom layout I recommend using xmodmap with a custom ~/.Xmodmap file, and executing it on X login if you display manager doesn't load it automatically. That's how I do my hybrid US/German keyboard. XKB is a bit complicated a really easy to mess up. – dirkt Oct 22 '16 at 5:58
  • Reinstall which packages, exactly? There are quite a few related to XKB. – Abu Dhabi Oct 22 '16 at 6:57
  • As I said, kernel keymaps are unrelated to XKB. On my system (Debian), kernel keymaps are in /usr/share/keymaps, the package is console-data. No idea if it's the same in Mint. – dirkt Oct 22 '16 at 16:00
  • Well, fiddling with xkb does SOMETHING. It really does appear to be used, I just don't understand how. – Abu Dhabi Oct 22 '16 at 18:15

Looking at the files, most of that row of keys is actually located in us(dvorak), so my guess is that your us file was mistakenly altered as well.

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