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XFree 3.2 International Users HOWTO

Hello all,

	this message is intended for those of us out there who _don't_
have a US keyboard and are installing XFree 3.2. If you have a US
keyboard ignore all that follows.

To begin with I assume you have a relatively up-to-date Debian
tree, i.e. all X stuff is version 3.2-1 or better. What you will want
to do, immediately, is to make a safe copy of your XFree 3.1.2
configuration, to do this simply do

cp /etc/X11/XF86Config /somewhere/safe/XF86Config

Then install the XFree 3.2 packages _including_ the xext package which
contians the dreaded XKBD extension which we will need.

Now, you will notice that the installation will not ask you any
questions as to converting your 3.1.2 config file to 3.2. This is the
catch: let us assume that you have a password with the '@'. Then in
the UK, for example, the '@' character sits where in the US they have
the '"' character and vice-versa. Let us assume that you run xdm. Then
although you were used to X getting your keyboard right it will get it
terribly wrong and you will not be able to log in - unless you know
where all the characters sit on a US keyboard.

How do you fix this? Simply run xf86config, install the keyboard that
you need and then, once it is done, edit the config file:
/etc/X11/XF86Config (as usual).

There are a few changes, for example new video cards, so it might be a
good idea to install a new config file from scratch. But, if like
myself you have a 1152x900 100dpi mode you are particularly fond of
you can recycle the old 3.1.2 XF86Config from the "Monitors" section
onwards without any changes.

Save this new config file and restart xdm. You will get back your
proper keyboard mappings and be able to log in.

Hope this helps someone else,


Arrigo Triulzi <arrigo@ic.ac.uk>, http://www.ma.ic.ac.uk/~agbt
Mathematics Dept. Imperial College of Science & Technology - London - UK

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