Tag Archives: dvorak

dvorak7min: The path to enlightenment

I’ve been hearing the litany of Dvorak enthusiasts for at least as long as I’ve been using Linux, and I can tell you with all honesty that I … have not converted.

I’ve checked it out and tried it once or twice, but I don’t see the benefits of changing over to a different keyboard unless there are actual physical alterations that must be accommodated. Adding to that, I switch between two and three machines at home, plus two or three machines in my place of work, and mentally switching keyboards at the same time is not appealing.

If you subscribe to the church of Dvorak, or one of the other lesser factions, I leave it to you to find your way to enlightenment. I’m comfortable with my standard qwerty arrangement, plus or minus a few.

When I mentioned speedpad a week or two ago, dvorak7min came to light.


If you’re looking for a coach to push you toward the unbearable lightness of Dvorak, this might be your ticket. Or at least it’s a console tool for that purpose. 🙄

Starting dvorak7min yields a keypress menu of lessons based on keystrokes and finger placements. Enter a lesson and you see the multicolor keyboard above, and the lesson begins at your first keystroke.

A couple of notes: First, the program itself doesn’t switch your keyboard arrangement for you (or at least it didn’t in Arch). In other words, if you haven’t told the computer itself that you want a Dvorak layout, you’ll still be pressing the same keys with the same fingers, to complete the lesson.

That might sound anticlimactic, but it just means that dvorak7min isn’t intended as a hardware interpretation tool, only as a software title. You control the hardware, it watches and tabulates your performance. But it can’t tell what you have configured.

Second, it seems that after a period of inactivity, dvorak7min enters some kind of attract mode, and starts typing on its own. It may be that is intended as a pacing tool, but I thought it strange to leave dvorak7min for a moment or two, come back, and see that it was entertaining itself by finishing out my lesson.

Of course I don’t know all the ins and outs of the program, so perhaps I had stumbled upon some sort of ghost in the machine. No matter.

I haven’t found a home page for dvorak7min; it is in Debian and AUR, but the AUR PKGBUILD is outdated and will build a zero-kb file. You can edit the PKGBUILD to keep up with changes in Arch, or just download the source file (it points at the Debian repo) and decompress it. It will work acceptably from there.

Good luck in your transition. 😉