Making AltGr work on powerpc notebooks

Carlos Perelló Marín carlos.perello at
Tue Nov 9 06:00:12 CST 2004

On Tue, 2004-11-09 at 12:52 +0100, Martin Pitt wrote:
> Hi fellows!


> It is time to discuss bug
> The problem: there are some powerpc notebooks around (at least
> European iBooks) which do not have an "AltGr" key. But without AltGr
> it is impossible to type characters like @ {} [] ~ \ on non-English
> keyboard layouts.

That's not completely true. The Spanish keymap (and I think the UK one
also) have the AltGr key mapped as Fn + alt and I suppose others work
equal (I don't remember the countries, but I know that several European
GNOME hackers use it also that way).

> The solution to this is to use the Apple (Command) key as AltGr. [1]
> describes how to do that under Gnome; in short, you need the
> 'lv3:lwin_switch' keyboard option in your X configuration. This will
> make the Apple key ("Left Windows" - hmmm) act as a level-3 keyboard
> switch, i. e. the function that AltGr is supposed to have.
> However, hardcoding this as the default would have the drawback that
> the Apple key could not be used for other purposes any more on powerpc
> books that _do_ have an AltGr key.
> So what are the options?
> 1. Leave it as it is and annoy European iBook users (at least they
>    cannot complain by email since they are unable to type '@' :-) )
> 2. Make lv3:lwin_switch default and annoy PowerBook and
>    British/American iBook users
> 3. Have the powerpc version of the X server ask a debconf question and
>    annoy all powerpc users
> 4. Autodetect whether an AltGr key is present (but I do not have the
>    slightest idea how to do that). An ad-hoc heuristics would be to
>    enable lv3:lwin_switch on non-English locales on powerpc, but I
>    know too little about other non-English iBook keyboard layouts.

What about:

5. Fix the keymaps that are not mapping Fn + Alt correctly as the AltGr

There is a bounty to try to detect the keymap based on some keys press,
perhaps this could be solved the same way...

> Thanks in advance for any idea and have a nice day!


> Martin
> [1]

Carlos Perelló Marín
Ubuntu Warty (PowerPC)  =>
Linux Registered User #121232
mailto:carlos at || mailto:carlos at
Valencia - Spain
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