FOSSPicks

Keyboard configurator

KMonad

A little while ago, we looked at a keyboard configuration utility called Chrysalis that lets you modify the keyboard layout and layer functionality of Kaleidoscope-powered open source keyboards. It's a brilliant tool for people who type a lot, but its effectiveness is restricted to a small set of keyboards, including the Keyboardio Model 01, the Atreus, Dygma's Raise, the ErgoDox EZ, and other keyboards wired like the original ErgoDox. KMonad is another keyboard configuration tool, only this time targeting keyboards using the super-powerful and more populous Quantum Mechanical Keyboard Firmware. It even includes support for the aforementioned ErgoDox EZ. While it officially supports only a handful of keyboards (pun intended), the community maintains support for dozens more.

You've probably guessed by now that KMonad isn't a KDE application. It actually takes its name from the minimal window manager, xmonad, with the implication being that KMonad manages your keyboard rather than your X windows. This kind of DIY attitude toward both the hardware and the firmware obviously requires some serious commitment, which is just as well. KMonad is written in Haskell and requires some serious installation patience to build from source, which is currently the only way to get hold of it. The tool itself is equally minimal on the command line. With the binary in your path, you run it with a single argument pointing to a configuration file. KMonad will then sit between the raw keyboard inputs and the kernel, so you're able to almost completely manipulate and transform the input events before they're passed to your user-level operating system. There's an excellent syntax document included with the package that explains everything you can do with the configuration file, which includes aliases, layers, and macros. It's powerful and tricky but capable of building almost any keyboard configuration you can imagine.

Take complete control over your keyboard by changing its layout, triggering macros, and replacing characters.

Project Website

https://github.com/david-janssen/kmonad/

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