virtual keyboard working on RPi

9 posts
by vinloren » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:27 pm
Hi everybody,
I think a softkeyboard (virtual keybd) would be very useful on Raspberrypi so you could nicely use a simple RF mouse and a USB WiFi dongle to completely manage the box without the need of any expansion USB hub nor costly Bluetooth Keyboard.

I succeded in this right now thanks to Tom Sato ( after downloaded and compiled the sources on my Raspberrypi-2012-07-15-wheezy-raspbian. I just had to hack a bit installing the required libs:
sudo apt-get install libxt-dev libxaw7-dev libxtst-dev xutils-dev
Then run xmkmf; make install and the softkeyboard was ready for use.

Hope this can be helpful, cheers
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:08 pm
by vinloren » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:01 pm
I eventually discovered, thanks to MagPi issue 3 magazine, that a very nice virtual keyboard can be installed by:
sudo apt-get install matchbox
Have a try to it..

Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:08 pm
by cjl1954 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:00 pm
I installed the Matchbox, but I don't see any keyboard?

Any help with running the software such as matchbox-session or what needs to happens to get the keyboard to appear on the screen?
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:59 pm
by vinloren » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:40 pm
simply you grt to enter thr 'accessories' lxde menu and click on 'keyboard'. The keyboard will stay there until you kill it or lower it down. The keyboard size can also be reduced by using the mouse.

Hope thi can help, bye
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:08 pm
by Siobhan » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:44 pm
Thanks for this!
It's not as polished as I've seen on *spit* windows, but it does the job, and well enough for my needs.
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:41 pm
by omurcha » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:10 pm
thanks for the solution " sudo apt-get install matchbox " at the LXTerminal prompt did the trick.
Have my rpi installed on my battery powered wheelchair. Taking 12v supply off one of my two 50amphr car type batteries I created two circuits - 12v and 5v - both regulated and fused. The 5v circ runs the rpi and the 12v runs the monitor - a retasked 10" camera field monitor. Looking great. Still trying to sort the MIFI - will start new topic thread on this.
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:15 pm
by rporter887 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:43 pm
Hello omurcha, I would be interested in collaborating with you on wheelchair mods. My wife has a Pride-Mobility with a Pride Quantum Q-logic controller DWR1234L145 (Curtis). I am interested in programming some of the servo action but powering of the Pi off of the batteries sounds like a good first step to bigger and better things. I haven't been registered long enough to post private messages, maybe if you send me one, I will be able to reply?

Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:28 pm
Location: WNY
by meltwater » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:04 pm
Was looking for virtual keyboard solutions for use with a touch screen. I will give matchbox a go, just wondering how flexible the layout can be (i.e. can you just put a few keys on there etc).

Alternatively it may be useful to create a single line keyboard which you can scroll side to side, I imagine it wouldn't be a massive task using Tkinter.
A Magazine for Raspberry Pi Users
Read Online or Download for Free.

My new book:

Meltwater's Pi Hardware -

Like the MagPi? @TheMagP1 @TheMagPiTeam
User avatar
Posts: 981
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:38 am
by thumper300zx » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:06 pm
I installed the matchbox keyboard -- have rebooted, tried to reinstall (says I have the most recent version installed) -- I try to start the keyboard and nothing happens. It looks like it's trying, but it never pops up. Any help?
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:05 pm