How to Persist a Particular Layout When Hot-plugging a USB Keyboard

Jan 31, 2021 12:43 · 163 words · 1 minute read howto linux

I use the dvorakp keyboard layout, and the other day, I got a manual KVM switch which allows me to share a keyboard, mouse, and monitor with another workstation. The other workstation runs Windows 10 and uses the normal QWERTY layout. The problem I faced with this set up, is that every time I switched back to my GNU/ Linux workstation, the layout kept resetting to QWERTY.

To keep my keyboard layout persistent, I had to play around with udev rules to get the targettable identity of my keyboard:

sudo lsusb | grep board

This yielded:

Bus 001 Device 003: ID 258a:0016 BY Tech Usb Gaming Keyboard

“258a” is the idVendor; and “0016” is the idProduct of my particular keyboard. Now to add an udev rules in “/etc/udev/rules.d/gaming_keyboard.rules”:

ACTION=="add", ATTRS{idVendor}=="258a", ATTRS{idProduct}=="0016", ENV{XKBMODEL}="pc104", ENV{XKBLAYOUT}="us", ENV{XKBVARIANT}="dvp", ENV{XKBOPTIONS}="ctrl:nocaps"

After that, I had to restart udev rules by running:

sudo udevadm control --reload

Now everytime I hotplug my USB keyboard, it will use the right keyboard layout.