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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2562

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:21 am    Post subject: Linux-compatible configurable keyboard with memory Reply with quote


I'm looking for a keyboard for coding (not gaming). I'd like some recommendations from people who have actually used the keyboards or have some real knowledge of them.

I'd like:

  1. Mechanical, capacitive, or optical switches (long lasting, solid construction, good feel)
  2. Silent, tactile, 45-55g activation (Cherry brown or clear, or another brand like Razor)
  3. Set options right on the keyboard (stays after you unplug)
  4. Wired USB
  5. 100% Linux compatible
  6. 104+ keys
  7. N-key rollover
  8. Programmable layer for user-defined character strings
  9. Has built-in dvorak and US layouts
  10. Trouble-free
  11. Short travel would be nice, but normal is a close second place.
  12. I would prefer some sort of backlight. RGB is kinda cool looking in the ads, but I'd just set it up for a single color I like, and adjust intensity to match my environment, so it's not that important.
  13. I don't particularly care if the keys have letters on them as my primary layout is dvorak. If I can see where the keyboard is I'm fine.
  14. I really like pretty large tactile bumps on the home row keys, either on the index finger or middle finger. If I get a keyboard that I like in every other way, I can glue something to the key to get them.
  15. 2x USB ports, prefer usb3, so I can have a mouse and an external drive at the same time.
  16. Media keys would be nice but not critical.
  17. Metal plate (nice and heavy, solid)

I've been looking at:

  1. Das Keyboard
  2. Code (
  3. RealForce (not Linux compatible)
  4. Razer
  5. Corsair
  6. Kinesis
  7. Others

What I DO NOT WANT is something that stores settings on the cloud. Or that requires some sort of special control panel.

I've started reading reviews, and am a bit worried about Das Keyboard 5Q, with reliability issues with skipped or doubled keys.

One of these keyboards, can't remember which one, has memory on the keyboard itself and you can edit settings by placing or modifying files in that memory. And it stays in the keyboard when you unplug it. That sounds really cool to me.

Dip switches (code keyboards) seem a bit archaic to me but I'd live with it if I knew the keyboards are fantastic with Linux. Only it seems they aren't programmable.

Some of the keyboards I'm looking at are new. But for the older ones, if somebody has been pounding hard on a keyboard for a few years, on Linux, and had no trouble I definitely want to hear about that.

The problem is, I'm distant from any sort of place I can demo one of these keyboards. It doesn't bother me to throw a few hundred USD at a keyboard, but it would bother me a lot if I didn't like it.

The scenario is that I may be doing work where I need to go to some other desk to do work. I'd like to be able to take my keyboard and (wired) mouse, sit down at the other desk and have my dvorak keyboard with customizations and programmable keys already set up, on matter what OS the thing is hooked to.

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