bedtime
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:02 pm

Virtual Keyboard Alternatives

Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:26 pm

There are basically two virtual keyboards that everyone knows about:

matchbox (apt install matchbox-keyboard)

and,

onboard (apt install onboard)

Matchbox is lightweight with almost no ability to configure. It seems to suffer from high cpu usage atm. It doesn't have the ability to automatically popup when the user enters an input field. And, it has a 90's style, which I don't quite dig. But it does work.

Onboard looks beautiful and has lots of customization options. It has an option to automatically popup the keyboard when the user enters an input field—very handy indeed! Its drawback is that it is slow to start and takes quite a lot of precious memory and cpu to operate. But, it still is a nice option.

I found a new (actually, old) option by Suckless—they make minimal apps that require the user to compile them:

https://tools.suckless.org/x/svkbd/

Unfortunately, the download git for that app is not up; however, scouring the net, I was able to procure a copy! :D

https://slackbuilds.org/repository/14.2 ... ity/svkbd/

Apparently, the keyboard is 9 years old, but it works like new, as it is written in C and its deps are only 'suckless-tools' and an X11-dev of some sort.

The keyboard can be changed to ANY colour via its config.h before compiling (onboard has themes, but you cannot choose your own specific colours). It takes a parameter for size and location and also can be run in dock mode which works perfectly in my dwm window manager if it is told to be in float mode.

It uses such a small amount of memory as to not even mention. Uses no cpu at idle and little to none when in use. And, it starts blazingly fast.

Another thing that I like about it is that you don't need to be Linus to be able to edit its layout. The system of configuring the layout is extremely easy and intuitive, the oboard keyboard is a different story...

Its layout is a new-school, flat, androidish look, which I like—not a 90's style with concave buttons.

Is it worth the trouble to compile? For me it was. I'll post a pic a little later. Ask if you have issues compiling.

Feel free to post your alternatives.

Image
Last edited by bedtime on Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 19845
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Virtual Keyboard Alternatives

Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:49 pm

bedtime wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:26 pm
There are basically two virtual keyboards that everyone knows about:

matchbox (apt install matchbox-keyboard)

and,

onboard (apt install onboard)

Matchbox is lightweight with almost no ability to configure. It seems to suffer from high cpu usage atm. It doesn't have the ability to automatically popup when the user enters an input field. And, it has a 90's style, which I don't quite dig. But it does work.

Onboard looks beautiful and has lots of customization options. It has an option to automatically popup the keyboard when the user enters an input field—very handy indeed! Its drawback is that it is slow to start and takes quite a lot of precious memory and cpu to operate. But, it still is a nice option.

I found a new (actually, old) option by Suckless—they make minimal apps that require the user to compile them:

https://tools.suckless.org/x/svkbd/

Unfortunately, the download git for that app is not up; however, scouring the net, I was able to procure a copy! :D

https://slackbuilds.org/repository/14.2 ... ity/svkbd/

Apparently, the keyboard is 9 years old, but it works like new, as it is written in C and its deps are only 'suckless-tools' and an X11-dev of some sort.

The keyboard can be changed to ANY colour via its config.h before compiling (onboard has themes, but you cannot choose your own specific colours). It takes a parameter for size and location and also can be run in dock mode which works perfectly in my dwm window manager if it is told to be in float mode.

It uses such a small amount of memory as to not even mention. Uses no cpu at idle and little to none when in use. And, it starts blazingly fast.

Another thing that I like about it is that you don't need to be Linus to be able to edit its layout. The system of configuring the layout is extremely easy and intuitive, the oboard keyboard is a different story...

Its layout is a new-school, flat, androidish look, which I like—not a 90's style with concave buttons.

Is it worth the trouble to compile? For me it was. I'll post a pic a little later. Ask if you have issues compiling.

Feel free to post your alternatives.

Florence

https://packages.debian.org/stretch/florence

http://florence.sourceforge.net/english.html


xvkbd

https://packages.debian.org/stretch/xvkbd
adieu

My other Computer is an Asus CS10 ChromeBit running Chrome Operating System.
HP Envy 4500 Wireless Printer supported by HPLIP software in Raspbian Buster.
Raspberry Pi Model 2B v1.1

bedtime
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Virtual Keyboard Alternatives

Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:33 pm

Florence looks like a good candidate. Definately, looks like it could be customized well-enough. I tried it, and for me there was just too many bugs. It crashed when adjusting the colours. Crashed again when powering it on, and again it crashed. It was uninstalled 10 seconds after that. Can't blame it, though; they do say Beta on the page. As is, the app is unusable for me. Would love for that to change.

Xvkbd looks as if it was developed when dinasours still roamed the earth... but, it's a working option.

So far I'm sticking to my 600 line, C-coded Suckless app. It's not for everyone, but it fits the bill for now.

My fingers are crossed for Florence!

bakerJoe
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:17 pm

Re: Virtual Keyboard Alternatives

Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:11 pm

bedtime wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:26 pm
There are basically two virtual keyboards that everyone knows about:

matchbox (apt install matchbox-keyboard)

and,

onboard (apt install onboard)

Matchbox is lightweight with almost no ability to configure. It seems to suffer from high cpu usage atm. It doesn't have the ability to automatically popup when the user enters an input field. And, it has a 90's style, which I don't quite dig. But it does work.

Onboard looks beautiful and has lots of customization options. It has an option to automatically popup the keyboard when the user enters an input field—very handy indeed! Its drawback is that it is slow to start and takes quite a lot of precious memory and cpu to operate. But, it still is a nice option.

I found a new (actually, old) option by Suckless—they make minimal apps that require the user to compile them:

https://tools.suckless.org/x/svkbd/

Unfortunately, the download git for that app is not up; however, scouring the net, I was able to procure a copy! :D

https://slackbuilds.org/repository/14.2 ... ity/svkbd/

Apparently, the keyboard is 9 years old, but it works like new, as it is written in C and its deps are only 'suckless-tools' and an X11-dev of some sort.

The keyboard can be changed to ANY colour via its config.h before compiling (onboard has themes, but you cannot choose your own specific colours). It takes a parameter for size and location and also can be run in dock mode which works perfectly in my dwm window manager if it is told to be in float mode.

It uses such a small amount of memory as to not even mention. Uses no cpu at idle and little to none when in use. And, it starts blazingly fast.

Another thing that I like about it is that you don't need to be Linus to be able to edit its layout. The system of configuring the layout is extremely easy and intuitive, the oboard keyboard is a different story...

Its layout is a new-school, flat, androidish look, which I like—not a 90's style with concave buttons.

Is it worth the trouble to compile? For me it was. I'll post a pic a little later. Ask if you have issues compiling.

Feel free to post your alternatives.

Image
I like the svkbd. Trying to get dwm to work on RPi. Complains about "dwm: another window manager is already running". Does dwm have to somehow replace Pixel's window manager?

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