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Polytonic Greek in Dvorak layout for Linux

I type with the Dvorak keymap. I also type polytonic Greek, which in every operating system I use is based on the Qwerty keymap. So it gets very confusing and annoying to switch back and forth.

So I modified the Linux Xorg Greek keymap to correspond to the English Dvorak layout. And I'd like to share.

  1. Download the modified keymap.
  2. For steps 3-5 you'll need root privileges, so use sudo or su to get them.
  3. Find your kxb symbols directory - On Debian based systems it is in /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols, but it has also been placed in /etc/X11/...
  4. Backup your existing Greek layout by copying "gr" from that folder to a safe place.
  5. Remove the ".txt" extension from the modified keymap you downloaded and place the file in your xkb symbols directory.
  6. From a terminal issue this command to "reset" your keymap to normal:
    setxkbmap -layout us -variant dvorak
    This doesn't do anything, but you'll want that in your terminal history so you can get back to regular English Dvorak.
  7. Issue the following command to make the keymap active:
    setxkbmap -layout gr -variant dvpoly

Now you are typing polytonic Greek with a Dvorak layout. Now, as others have noted, this does not have the spirit of the Dvorak keymap. It is not constructed based on actual usage of Greek, and it will not be any more efficient than the Qwerty-based layouts (and given the placement of the accent keys in my layout, it may actually be worse). The purpose of this keymap is purely to make it easier for English Dvorak typists to transition to polytonic Greek.

The primary departure I made from the English Dvorak paradigm was moving the semi-colon so that the Greek accent dead keys could be closer to one another. In this keymap, the "semi-colon" (actually Greek question mark) can be typed using the "Q" key on the Qwerty layout, and the acute and grave accents can be typed using the "Z" and "X" keys respectively (which are ";" and "q" in the Dvorak layout). Here is a screenshot of the layout for a more explicit reference.

The xkb keymaps are under the MIT license. I used this non-polytonic layout as a guide for my work. Please post with comments, questions, bugs, etc. For more info on how to type polytonic Greek in Linux, see this excellent post on B-Greek. It references the Qwerty-based layout, but the same principles apply.

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