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Re: Keyboard and locale problems

David W.E. Roberts wrote:
> I have just done a hard disc install of Knoppix 3.3 which gives me Debian
> 2.4.24-xfs.

Well, actually no.  It does not give you a Debian 2.4.24-xfs kernel.
It gives you a Knoppix 2.4.24-xfs kernel.  Knoppix is a fork of Debian
that uses the same packaging system and things are in many ways very
much still Debian.  But in other ways things are very different.  You
have fallen into a trap.  Knoppix is an absolutely awesome live-cd
system.  But in my opinion it is not so good for an installation that
you will need to keep updated.  Really only an expert can update it
because it is so unique.  Like a tricked out hot rod car it has a lot
of one-off features.

> I am having problems with my graphics card (Matrox MGA Millenium) and so
> cannot run a GUI on the box itself.

I have a system with a Matrox Millenium.  I have a pure Debian woody
installation on it and it runs X11 without issue.  I say this only to
say that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the combination.
It should work fine.  But that card is rather old and very slow with
X.  Don't expect much performance from it and you will be happy.  The
amount of graphics memory varied on those cards.  Having enough is an
important factor.  I had 8MB and was okay.

> This means that I miss out on all the graphical configuration tools which
> come with the KDE desktop, and I have to manage the system remotely using an
> X-Server on my Windows PC.

The Matrox Millenium was a great card in its day.  But now by
comparison I want more.  So for me I don't run any of the X tools on
that system.  I do everything either on the console in text or

> First problem - can't find any obvious X (or even non-X) configuration tool
> widgets to automate configuration (such as found under KDE or like
> 'linuxconf' under RedHat).

If you are looking to reconfigure the X package then this is the way
to do it.  Or you can tell it "no" and manage the file by hand.

  dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86

> Second problem - I am stuck with a US keyboard layout and a UK keyboard.

I seem to recall a flag on the knoppix toolbar which would all you to
flip the keyboard from one layout to another.

You can use the 'install-keymap' command to install other keymaps.
See the man page for details.  I think the following is what you
want.  But note that I have only used us keyboards and keymaps.  So I
don't know if that is the right keymap or not for your keyboard.

  install-keymap uk.kmap.gz

> I am trying to change the default 'locale' settings in /etc/sysconfig, but I
> can't seem to get the settings right.

Now you are getting into some of the differences between Knoppix and
Debian.  Debian does not have any /etc/sysconfig directory.  That is a
Red Hat directory.  I infer that Klaus Knopper must be using a mix of
software in Knoppix which is somehow making use of that configuration.

But the Debian native programs won't be using it.  If so then it is
going to be inconsistent in that some programs do things one way and
which programs do things another way.  It will be a confusing mess.
You would probably have better luck getting help with that from one of
the knoppix user lists.  (Not that I know anything about them.  But
they must exist, right?)

If you want to reconfigure the locales on your system then this is a
good way to do it.

  dpkg-reconfigure locales

Select the locales you would like to generate.  Then it will ask you
if you want to set a default locale.  This will set up
/etc/environment which is used by PAM for login sessions.

Why does Knoppix have /etc/sysconfig?  I have no idea since I am not a
Knoppix expert.  But it is probably cross-pollination from the other
distro.  Probably you would need to set up both because some software
was installed on it from Red Hat which uses it.

> [BTW why is the configuration file named 'i18n'?]

It is an abbreviation for internationalization.  'i' 18 letters 'n'.
Another abbreviation in that same area is l10n for localization.

> >From browsing man pages I think it should be 'en_uk' or 'en_UK'; however if
> I fire up a new xterm 'locale returns:
> locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or directory

I think you just need to generate the locale data.  Once you have
ddone the dpkg-reconfigure locales above it should exist.

> Any assistance gratefully received; I have been spoiled by automated
> configuration tools and going back to editing text configuration files is
> causing me some pain :-)

Imagine an old grizzled grandfather type of character saying "Builds
character".  (That description is not me.  But imagine it anyway. :-)
But I think all of the commands I suggested were captured user
interfaces without any need to edit any files.  So you should be good
there. :-)


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