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For more than 10 years, I've been meaning to try out Solaris, to broaden my system administration experience (most of which is currently with Debian, Ubuntu, and OpenBSD), not least because of the features that Solaris pioneered, such as ZFS and DTrace.

On top of that, OpenSolaris now has a user experience that was "inspired"[1] by Ubuntu, and looks like a fairly credible desktop system too (with my favourite theme, Nimbus :-P).

There is only one real hurdle, for me: the console has no Dvorak support:

It's true that in X, I can simply use setxkbmap dvorak (and it works when I tested it on OpenSolaris 2008.11), but there are some maintenance tasks that can only be done in single-user mode. It would be most ideal to remove the "cognitive dissonance" of using the system, by not having to switch back and forth between the two layouts.

[1] In the same way that CNProg was "inspired" by Stack Overflow. :-)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

A found a wiki, albeit in french, that seems to have what you want.

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Awesome---obviously I can tweak the keymap from that site and use it. It's neat that the author of that site has keymaps and instructions for multiple OSs (although, at least for US Dvorak, most OSs already have the keymaps built-in). I'll wait a couple of days to see if others have good answers; after that, I'll pick a best answer. Many thanks! – Chris Jester-Young May 6 '09 at 4:08

found this on the internet. ;-) not my personal victory but was looking for the same solution. see below

Well, after some searching around I discovered that for Solaris X11, need to use xmodmap(1). The xmodmap key maps for Solaris are located in /usr/share/xmodmap so you can switch between Dvorak and QWERTY thus:

* xmodmap /usr/share/xmodmap/xmodmap.dvorak
* xmodmap /usr/share/xmodmap/

Making a pair of shell aliases for these verbose commands would be handy too:

alias asdf "xmodmap /usr/share/xmodmap/xmodmap.dvorak" alias aoeu "xmodmap /usr/share/xmodmap/"

with these, just type the first four keys of the home row and press enter to flip to the other layout. Xmodmap only affects X11 (global for all running and new X clients).

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Sadly, xmodmap is for X, not the console. Try it and see. :-D Also, if you're loyal to Dvorak and not just a fencesitter ;-), those aliases do nothing for you. :-P (Read: I use Dvorak exclusively.) – Chris Jester-Young Mar 24 '11 at 0:41

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