Here is the keyboard layout used on the KDE version of the "Russian for
Gringos" keyboard. The letter positions are the same as the AATSEEL student
homophonic keyboard. The other keys are the same as an American keyboard except that a combining
acute accent has been substituted for the forward slash symbol, and left
and right кавычки (guillemets, angled quotes) have replaced the left and right
Right click on this link to download the
xkbkderussianforgringos.gz file and save it to your hard disk. Then
unzip the file.
Install the keyboard
Log on to your system at the command line as root. If you do not have root
privileges on your system, ask your system administrator to do this for you.
Copy the file named ru_gringos to
If your system also contains a directory named /etc/X11/xkb/symbols/pc, then copy ru_gringos there as well.
Modify the file named /etc/X11/xkb/rules/xfree86.lst in the following fashion. Using a plain text editor, open the file and scroll down to the line that reads ru Russian (there may be a tab between the words), and immediately below that line add a line that reads ru_gringos Russian (AATSEEL student homophonic letters) and then save the file.
If you have been doing your editing under KDE, then exit to the command line and restart X so that the changes will take effect.
Tell KDE you want to use the keyboard
Log on to your system using your regular user name.
Using the KDE panel choose System/Configuration/Configure your desktop.
Choose Accessibility/Keyboard Layout.
Put an eks in the "Enable Keyboard Layouts" checkbox.
In the window entitled "Available Layouts," scroll down till you see
"Russian (AATSEEL student homophonic letters." Click on it so that it
Click the "add" button. The keyboard should now transfer to the
"Active Layouts" window.
Highlight the US keyboard in the "Active Layouts" window and click the
Since the Russian for Gringos keyboard makes both English letters and Russian letters available, we must now choose a method of telling the computer to switch character sets. Click on the "XKB Options" tab.
Put an eks in the "Enable xkb options" box.
Choose "Alt+Shift changes group" so that an eks appears in its checkbox. A minus should appear in the "Group Shift/Lock behavior" box above the section.
Click the "Apply" button.
The keyboard should now be accessible to all KDE applications. It will default to English letters. To switch to Russian letters, hold down the ALT key and simultaneously tap the shift key. The same procedure switches the Russian letters back to English.
Other X11 window handlers and GNOME
Actually, this keyboard is really an xkb keyboard that will probably work under GNOME and other X11 window handlers as well. If anybody can send me directions for setting it up for use under those environments, I'd be happy to include them here.