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Re: XKB problem with x-terminal

On Sun, Dec 11, 2005 at 11:19:39PM +0100, Almut Behrens wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 09, 2005 at 11:22:30PM +0200, Simo Kauppi wrote:
> > On Thu, Dec 08, 2005 at 09:34:26PM +0100, Almut Behrens wrote:
> > > On Wed, Dec 07, 2005 at 02:16:09PM +0200, Simo Kauppi wrote:
> > > > Is there a way to compile keyboard definitions for X and save them
> > > > somewhere, where XServer can read them, when it starts?
> > > 
> > > $ xkbcomp -xkm :0 keymap.xkm
> > > Then, simply transfer the resulting keymap.xkm to your thinclient,
> > > where you can make the X server load it upon startup using the option
> > > "-xkbmap keymap.xkm".
> > 
> > If I start X with -xkbdb keymap.xkm, it doesn't complain, but the
> > keyboard doesn't behave properly :(
> Not too surprising.  That option's value is assigned to some variable
> XkbDB (in xc/programs/Xserver/xkb/xkbInit.c) which isn't used anywhere
> else beyond this assignment, in the entire X sources.  Whatever that's
> supposed to do, it isn't implemented yet ;)
> The fact that -xkbmap doesn't work as advertised, isn't too surprising
> either, 'cos I was telling rubbish  (yeah, next time, Almut reminds
> herself to actually verify the stuff she's claiming...)

Well, it did make perfect sense :) I would have expected the -xkbmap to
work exactly the way you described.

> All in all, I can't help getting the impression, that Simo and me are
> to the only two people in this world who have ever tried to make use of
> this -xkbmap option :)

Maybe others just gave up when it didn't work the way one would expect.

> My main observations:
> * you can't keep the X server from wanting to call xkbcomp, even in the
> presence of a perfectly valid compiled xkbmap.  At least, I dunno how.
> * even though the output of the xkbcomp run isn't really used in this
> case (AFAICT), it is good to have it succeed, superficially.  In case
> of any failures in this step, a couple of other things are being tried
> which eventually lead to a complete failure of the whole shebang.
> * you are expected to specify the bare name of the keymap (without the
> .xkm extension);  the X server looks for the map in certain predefined
> directories (which do vary depending on which UID the server is started as)
> * unless you have a dot in the keymap name, the X server deletes the
> map before reading it.  No kidding.  This seems to be because the
> path of the temporary output file (created during the useless run of
> xkbcomp) is being set to where the real keymap is expected to be found.
> And tempfile cleanup happens before the actual "-xkbmap"-related code
> gets a chance to read it...  Luckily, there's some odd "sanitizing"
> being applied to the tempfile name (replacing '.' by '_').  That allows
> us to play tricks here:
> So, to summarize, here's what I did:
> * moved away the original /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb directory (a link to
> /etc/X11/xkb, normally), preventing X from accessing anything in there.
> * uncommented all 'Option "Xkb*"' entries in XF86Config-4/xorg.conf.
> * created a dummy replacement for xkbcomp. This is just a simple script
> which copies the precompiled keymap to the tempfile location where X is
> expecting to find it -- hereby simulating a successful compile run:
>   #!/usr/bin/perl
>   $base = "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/";
>   $dest = pop @ARGV;            # of the 12 args that xkbcomp is called
>   $src  = $base . pop @ARGV;    # with, the last two are of interest...
>   $dest = "$base$dest" if $dest !~ m|^/|;
>   system 'cp', $src, $dest;     # create expected output
>   exit 0                        # always succeed
> * created a new xkb directory, containing just the following:
> -rwxr-xr-x root/root   313 /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/xkbcomp
> drwxr-xr-x root/root     0 /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/keymap/
> -rw-r--r-- root/root  7804 /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/keymap/default.map
> drwxr-xr-x root/root     0 /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/compiled/
> lrwxrwxrwx root/root     0 /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/compiled/default.map.xkm -> /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/keymap/default.map
> lrwxrwxrwx root/root     0 /var/tmp/default.map.xkm -> /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb/keymap/default.map
> (xkbcomp is the above script. default.map is the compiled keymap.
> The map in /var/tmp/ is used when X is run as a regular user.)
> I'm not saying this is way to do it -- just that it worked for me :)
> Tried with various versions of X from woody's XFree86 to Xorg-6.8.2.
> Let me know whether it works for you, too, Simo.  I'm afraid I won't be
> able to help, if not, though -- just out of curiosity...

Excellent work Almut! It works like a charm :) I can't thank you enough,
figuring this out would have taken light years from me :))
> Almut
> (...and I said, I wouldn't bore you with details... Well.)

No worries there, having a software background myself, I find this
really interesting. Yes, I know there must be something wrong with me :)

Little sidenote: while searching for clues, I ran into this
https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=4461, which seems to
suggest that the default locations are going to change, maybe even for
the final X.org 6.9/7.0 release (RC3 doesn't seem to have that).

Big thanks,
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