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X Window

Similar to the console mode, X Window also requires some configuration, which involves setting up input and installing fonts for X Window. The required steps are discussed below.

Installing fonts in X Window

First of all, you must install fonts with the Cyrillic characters in the appropriate positions. It should be noted that all modern distributions contain KOI8-R fonts, which are more or less usable, so if xlsfonts does not show them, then they are simply not installed or not included in the X Font Path.

If your system does not have KOI8-R fonts, then it's best to install the font pack sea the section called “Cyr-RFX”.


At the time of writing, the most ergonomic Cyrillic fonts for X Window are the fonts from the Cyr-RFX project by Dmitriy Bolhovityanov: His fonts are available for all Cyrillic encodings.

These fonts are highly recommended as a base font set.

To install you should carefully read the file README, which is included in the font distribution.

Keyboard input

To configure input, you should use the X-Window extension Xkb.

To configure Xkb, in the X configuration file (usualy XF86Config or XF86Config-4) you should give parameters XkbRules, XkbModel, XkbLayout and if you need something nonstandard, — XkbVariant and XkbOptions.

For example,

XkbRules        "xfree86"
XkbModel        "pc104"
XkbLayout       "ru"
XkbVariant      "winkeys"
XkbOptions      "grp:shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll"

means that XKB should, according to the rules in the file {XKBROOT}/rules/xfree86, choose the keyboard configuration for keyboard of type "pc104" (104 keys), Russian alphabet (English is included implicitly by default). If you have a Windows keyboard (which is true 99% of the time), then it is useful to specify XkbVariant as "winkeys", otherwise leave this option empty — "". At the end are additional options for your "keyboard layout" — "grp:shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll", which describe the method of switching keyboard layouts: both "Shift" keys , also, at the same time, the Scroll Lock LED will light up on the keyboard.

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