System76 Developing A New Linux Keyboard With Interchangeable Keys

The company promoted their forthcoming keyboard today on their blog. The System76 keyboard will have the space bar broken into two 2U keys.

System76 is a computer manufacturer, specializing in the sale of notebooks, desktops, and servers. The company supports free and open-source software, offering either Ubuntu or their own Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, Pop!_OS, as the preinstalled operating system.

Of course, the upcoming System76 keyboard will be designed to work seamlessly with the Linux-based Pop!_OS operating system. The keyboard will feature three key sizes in the design:

  • 1U (letter/number keys)
  • 1.5U (tab keys)
  • 2U (shift keys)

We don’t want to build just any keyboard. We want to build a keyboard you’ll fall in love with. One that stays solidly in one place while you’re typing, and that feels comfortable for your hands.

They also talk of the ability to physically change the keys on the keyboard as well as working on an accompanying application for configuring the keyboard. For example, you can put Space and Backspace next to each other to have both common keys easily accessible under your thumbs.

There’s nothing more enjoyable than typing on a keyboard for hours on end without hitting the wrong key. That’s why we strongly opposed adding a ‘WRONG’ key to the keyboard. Traditional keyboards are laid out with incredibly long space bars so you can’t use your thumbs, your strongest digit, for functions other than space.

System76’s CEO Carl Richell describes his experience testing the prototype:

I’ve found using the new keyboard layouts with Auto-Tiling is so addictive that when I go to another computer, it feels like I’m in a foreign land.

Of course, to be truly efficient you’d also want to physically change the keys on your keyboard to match the new layout. Keeping variations in key sizes at a minimum opens up the possibilities for where your keys can go.

The System76 keyboard (Real Name TBA) will enable you to personalize your computer and maximize efficiency. Paired with Auto-Tiling and keyboard shortcuts, you’ll be blazing through your workflow at breakneck speeds like an all-powerful wizard.

Going further, System76 will also release a software application alongside the keyboard that will let you configure your new layout easily.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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