For some time Plasma Wayland had built-in support for Qt Virtual Keyboard. This got dropped for better support based on the Wayland input method protocols. An application supporting this protocol is maliit. In this blog post I want to describe how to enable and configure maliit in a Plasma Wayland session.
The support for Qt Virtual Keyboard was added by me as it is quite important to offer first class virtual keyboard support out of the box. Unfortunately the best technical option, maliit, was unavailable back then in most distributions. This made it rather impossible to built on it and instead Qt Virtual Keyboard was used. Given that I am very happy that now maliit support gets added to distributions. When installing maliit please make sure to install the newer maliit-keyboard instead of the older maliit-framework and make sure that it has an up to date git snapshot.
For example in KDE Neon the package is called maliit-keyboard. If your distribution does not yet provide a package, please file a bug report.
To enable maliit in your Wayland session you need to edit your kwinrc configuration file:
and add the following:
To be sure it gets activated correctly, log out and in again and enable the virtual keyboard in the system tray.
The keyboard has some default settings. To modify you need to use gsettings. I am not aware of a gui configuration thus it needs to be done from a command line.
E.g. to change the enabled languages from English and Emoji to English, German and Emoji use:
gsettings set org.maliit.keyboard.maliit enabled-languages "['en', 'de', 'emoji']"
And to switch the theme to BreezeDark use:
gsettings set org.maliit.keyboard.maliit theme BreezeDark
8 Replies to “Using maliit-keyboard in a Plasma Wayland session”
I’m on KDE Neon (User edition) and there is no maliit-keyboard package. Are you sure the User edition has it?
I’m using the unstable edition and must admit I didn’t check whether it is present in the User edition.
I can verify it is not available in the user version. I have submitted a bug report requesting it, it has been accepted just waiting for it to be action-ed.
I did managed to install it by changing my neon.list from ‘/user’ to ‘/dev/unstable’ and then changed back after installation.
Plasma Mobile has a KCM for configuring Maliit: https://invent.kde.org/plasma-mobile/plasma-settings/-/tree/master/modules/virtualkeyboard
It should probably be split out into a standalone repo
We have a KCM we use for Plasma Mobile, it is part of plasma-settings at moment, but Nicolas Fella split it in separate repo at : https://invent.kde.org/nicolasfella/maliit-kcm
You can build and install it.
Will this work with GTK applications like Firefox (that was the biggest disadvantage of QT Keyboard for me when using it on my laptop)?
It only works with Wayland applications using the right protocol version. That means e.g. Firefox running on XWayland doesn’t work. And on KDE Neon unstable I have not gotten it to work with GTK applications – I assume the reason is that the base of GTK is too old in the Ubuntu 20.04 base.
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