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See also Getting started:keyboard, Keyboard shortcuts, Keyboards and key bindings, and Keyboard materials.

The XO membrane keyboard:


Special Keys

The XO keyboard has a number of special keys and keycap symbols. The functions of these are discussed in more detail in the Human Interface Guidelines for Input Systems].

  • the Search key has a magnifying glass and activates Journal search;
  • the Bulletin Board key has two overlapping rectangles and is to toggle display of the shared visual clipboard (not yet implemented);
  • the Frame key has an open rectangle on it and toggles the Frame;
  • the Language key found on some keyboards has two types of letters and switches between different alphabets;
  • the Grab keys have hands on them and turn the trackpad into a scrolling device;
  • the View Source key has a gear on it , is accessed as Fn-Space, and displays activity or system source;
  • the membrane keyboard progressive slider has no defined use and is to be available for activities to bind. (ticket #10534 currently affects this.)
  • brightness down (or F9), decreases the display backlight, with Alt turns the backlight off, with Ctrl toggles monochrome,
  • brightness up (or F10), increases the display backlight, with Alt turns the backlight fully on,
  • volume down (or F11), decreases the speaker and headphone volume,
  • volume up (or F12), increases the speaker and headphone volume.

Missing Keys

If you are trying to locate a key used on an conventional computer that seems to be "missing" on an XO membrane keyboard, the following table may help you:

conventional key XO membrane keyboard
Esc Image:Esc.png a white × inside a black disc
F1 Image:Mesh key f1 small.png the Neighborhood View key
F2 Image:Friends key f2 small.png the Group View key
F3 Image:Home key f3 small.png the Home View key
F4 Image:Activity key f4 small.png the Activity View key

Caps Lock

There is no Caps Lock key.

Other controls

There are other controls on the XO that are not on the keyboard: the direction pad, game controls, screen rotation, and power button. They are described in the manual.

Languages other than English

OLPC keyboard layouts

Instructions for setting up keyboard switching in Terminal are on the Customizing NAND images page. On bilingual XOs, the multiplication/division key is replaced with a keyboard switching key.

Changing the language of the keyboard is independent of changing the language currently displayed. The language currently displayed can be changed by using the Language section of the Sugar Control Panel.

Membrane keyboard layouts

English (US international); Spanish (Latin America); Portuguese (Brazilian); Amharic (Ethiopic); Arabic; Nigerian (Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba); French; Thai; Urdu; Cyrillic (Russian); Turkish; Nepali; Mongolian; Kazakh; Devanagari; Uzbek; Pashto; Dari; Armenian; Khmer; Pulaar; Italian; Kreyòl; German; Chinese (Simplified); OLPC AZERTY

Non-membrane keyboard layouts

Starting with the XO-1.5 HS ("High School") edition, the XO laptop has a traditional (non-membrane) keyboard available as an option: English (US International); Spanish (Latin America);

Blank Keyboard Artwork

Artwork defining the inner dimensions of the membrane keyboard is available here: keyboard-blank.svg

To see what languages are currently supported, go to Manufacturing Data#Keyboards.

You can also click on the link to each language to find out how to configure the keyboard layout. For activity localization, see Sugar Control Panel.

If the characters do not display correctly, you might need to install language-specific font(s). Drop the ttf file into /usr/share/fonts and rerun fc-cache.

Typing Non-English characters

Many common characters can be typed directly as well by using the AltGr key in combination with other keys. For example, on the US keyboard:

AltGr+c to type cedilla (ç);
AltGr+n to type n with a tilde (ñ);
a followed by AltGr+4 to type a with an accent acute (á);
e followed by AltGr+3 to type e with an accent grave (è).

Many (but not all) activities also let you enter Unicode directly: Hold down the Ctrl+Shift keys while you type u followed by the 4-digit code point for the character you want, e.g., Ctrl+Shift+u03A9 to type the Greek capital letter Omega (Ω). (You need to hold the Ctrl and Shift keys while you type all five characters.)

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