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Is there a way to change the keyboard layout of the whole system to another layout? I am using a bunch of window managers and I don't want to have to setup the layout for every one.

I am using a QWERTY keyboard with a programmer DVORAK overlay.

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This is possible. I myself am a DVORAK user. here is how:
1. login to one of your window managers. switch to DVORAK. dump the layout with this command:

xmodmap -pke>dvorak.map 

2. load the dvorak.map in your X init file. ~/.xinitrc

xmodmap /path/to/dvorak.map
  • I can't get it to work, I tried exactly what you described but nothing happened, and then I tried it in the TTY and I got xmodmap: unable to open display '' – tversteeg Dec 24 '13 at 10:10
  • you cannot use xmodmap in a tty. you should use it in a terminal emulator, like gnome-terminal. – David Dai Dec 24 '13 at 12:30

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