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Two keyboards are tehnically possible. I have one usb keyboard that I mainly use, but if a kernel upgarde fails and I don't have usb support I can plug in my old ps2-keyboard and they both work once I get the usb modules loaded.
If you want to have different layouts as well it takes some twaking depending on your window manager and distro. I know that Knoppix (KDE) allows you to change key layout "on-the-fly", but I can't help anymore on that one.
Yes, a ps2 keyboard and a USB (wireless) keyboard works at the same time, I can input using whichever I want. I am not sure whether 2 (or more) usb keyboards works as wel but I think it will work. The bigger problem is how to change the keymap easily.
For me, both of my keyboards work concurrently. I connect both because the USB keyboard isn't recognized until Linux is fully loaded. However, if you need two different layouts at the same time, that will be a different story. I use a USB multimedia keyboard, any of the multimedia keys that work, function without affecting the PS/2 keyboard. Language differences will cause the same keys to behave differently. I wouldn't be surprised if it could be done, but I don't think that any window manager/desktop manager has such a feature.
As I said earlier I know that Knoppix allows you to change keymap settings directly from a menu. I am not sure if this is a standard feature in KDE or something hacked by Knoppix developers as this is very handy to have on a live CD. I believe changing keymaps can be done (more or less easily), I just don't know where to start as I have never needed this feature.
I was just messing around with WindowMaker's settings. They have an option to allow you to put a toggle on the title bar. Mine only shows "E", I guess if I had another layout setup as my default it would toggle or list the other ones.
I don't know if this is worth switching window managers for, but it is yet another choice.
In kde, you can easily change keyboard settings with a system tray icon. Just go to Control centre=>regional=> keyboard layout and add the layouts you want, then go to the switching options tab and activate the system tray flag. You can also bind it to a keyboard shortcut. I highly doubt you can get a different layout for the two keyboards (at least, not easily).
Also, I'm not sure about the situation in Germany, but here (in Canada) you can buy keyboards with bilingual French/English layouts printed on them.
Last edited by stefan_nicolau; 03-05-2006 at 03:15 PM.
Distribution: Debian Etch with Kernel 2.6.x (latest vanila)
I tasted 3 keyboards on my notebook. The integrated, an usb and a ps2 keyboard at the same time. But I think it's impossible to get to different keymappings at the same time. So all keyboards have the same keymapping at the same time.
I use KDE on Mandriva. I use a Russian layoutas well as English, so I just set up F12 (in configuration>KDE>accessibility) to switch. Make sure that your hot key is the same in both layouts, or you won't be able to switch back.