Doubts about "programmables"

I normally use Linux for everything, although I have a Windows for playing games. To make sure I don’t have to spend infinite hours by trying to somehow remap the keys in Linux I think the best solution for me is to have a programmable one so I can boot windows, save the bindings in the keyboard and then go back to linux with everything working fine.

  • First doubt is: when I see a keyboard advertised as “programmable”, does it always mean that the configurations are going to be saved in the keyboard?

  • Could you give me some advice in how to search for ready-to-use keyboards that already come with a programmable firmware?

More in particular, I look for a 65% one (but I could go with a 75% if necessary) with silent+tactile switches. Everything else (hot-swappable, leds, wireless, case materials, etc.) are options that I don’t care a lot about, I could go with anything.

Many, many thanks! I spent few months digging in all this world and, man, I’m exhausted of reading and watching reviews and more lost than in the beginning xD

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For “custom” keyboards that use QMK (FOSS firmware) everything is saved on the board itself. Same with anything that advertises itself as VIA compatible, that’s just a front-end for QMK.

Keyboards made by gaming brands are a bit of a toss-up. IIRC some of the brands have made their boards store layout info but require their software for some special lighting effects.

Are you looking to buy something pre-built? Most of the boards that run QMK come as a kit which doesn’t include switches since selecting them separately gives you a lot more options than a single brand could offer. The Novelkeys NK65 line sounds right up your alley, and I’ve heard that Gazzew U4 Boba switches are some of the best silent tactile you can get right now.

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Everything said before is right.
But I’m not sure I understand your use case?
Do you have wildly different keymaps when you switch distros?
Cause I’m working on Linux and playing on Windows and everything has allways been plug and play.
Either store bought, kit assembled, handwired or fully custom.

Now if you want to have a very specific layout that you choose, I recommend anything that comes with qmk. I think drop as a few prebuilt, as do much of the keyboards part sellers. (Kdbfans, kprepublic, keebio etc)

Thanks a lot!

Pre-built would be nice but, I mean, if it comes in pieces and I have to assemble them and buy the switches and keys separately it’s not a problem.
The Novelkeys NK65 looks good, I signed up for re-stocking notifications :smiley:

Oh, on the contrary, I would like to have the same keymaps in any distro or computer I plug the keyboard in. For example I saw many keyboards with PageUp and PageDown as the main function and Home-End as secondary, in this case I’ll need to revert it to make Home-End the primary function as I use them a lot.
I might not have my ISO version and that could mean having to bind some letter (like ç) differently, that pressing Fn+5 makes Ctrl+F5 instead of F5, if it’s possible to bind keys for mouse movement and clicks it would be nice… also if possible to make layers, I could use one for programming in which I’ll bind chars that in my ISO require a combination of keys like [ { ( etc. to be the other way around… so far are just ideas to try.

Thank for the help!!
I’ll take a (more thorough…) look at Drop and the rest that you mention.

That ç hints to me that you’re french or north/east European. I know the ISO struggle as I’ve had it in various stages. Feel free to hit me up in MPs or asking here for public knowledge I’ll be happy to help.

So if you need some customisation qmk is definitely the way to go. (At least for what you told it’s a no brainer)

You will not have a great choice of keycaps in AZERTY layout.
This is the reason why I switched to US ansi international.

Oh, awesome, I really appreciate the help offer.
I was assuming that it would be impossible to find models with ISO layouts (the spanish layout in this case), but of course if you have any recommendation regarding that please share :smiley:

Thanks for the tip! Nonetheless I didn’t even know that AZERTY existed, if I could have an ISO layout it will still be QWERTY.

AZERTY is the French layout, and supposedly very close to the Spanish one :wink:

Ok so if you are a QWERTY guy, no big problem then.

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Disclaimer first : i ended up switching full time to ansi international too cause i craved for some cool caps/speciality keebs.

That be said, keeping an iso layout is doable but you’ll bump into 2 main problems:
-ISO keycaps are not so common and it’s never the iso you want on the set you want
-if you get a pcb kit, you’re gonna be carefull it is ready for ISO (mainly big ass enter spot and smaller left shift to squizz the <> key)

Another decent road would be get an ainsi programmable keeb. And create your own layout, then harvest keycaps (be carefull about the row sculpting of the caps) and then just go for it.

it’s a bit hard to just drop all i found about trying to have an iso keeb, so if you have question juste ask and we can work from there.

side not i think candykeys has ISO keyboards and more generaly european resellers we have them

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After a bit of research (Candykeys,, wasdkeyboards…) so far the only options with an spanish ISO layout (with stock, apparently) are:

  • wasdkeyboards, but they don’t have a 65%, it’s either 60% or tenkeyless, so not an option.
  • varmilo: cannot be programmed so not an option.

Maybe an option is to get any other ISO layout (to have the 1 extra key) and then reprogram the keys and move the keycaps xD

So thanks for the tips, it was worth it checking but I’ll stick to ANSI ones.

(I just discovered the Epomaker models and looks promising… we’ll see)

Some 65% ISO keyboards worth considering:

Yeah that pretty much how it ended for me too.
Be careful if you want to move keys around. Not all keycaps profile will work because of the sculpting. (DSA, XDA and a few other are flat and moveable).

I’m not sure about Spanish, but international ainsi is quite comfortable for french. ’ then e to get é. " Then e to get ë and so on.
From that I built some preferences and have many layers/shortcuts.

Welcom on your new travel

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