OS/2, eCS & ArcaOS - Technical > Setup & Installation

How to type Cyrillic characters on VIO sessions (text mode, OS prompt, etc.)?


Alfredo Fernández Díaz:

I need help from anyone who knows how to use a Russian / Ukrainian keyboard layout (or any other dual-layer one I guess) on OS/2, to type Cyrillic characters on a text mode session.

Just in case you wonder, I have a Russian system, and other OS/2 systems with 866 as the secondary system codepage. If I execute "CHCP 866" as necessary at a command prompt, then execute the attached rexx script, text-mode Cyrillic characters display just fine (see attached screenshot Cyrillic.png).

If I then execute "keyb ru" as necessary, I get the expected messages stating the necessary conversion codepage tables loaded just fine. The problem seems to be that the Russian keyboard starts in English / Latin mode and I can't switch to use the Russian layer of the text mode keyboard layout.

I.e., if I start say "AE" from the same command prompt, typing will get me English / Latin characters in the system editor, but if I press Left Alt + Left Shift I can type Cyrillic characters no problem (see attached capture MoreCyrillic.png), and pressing Right Alt + Right Shift gets me back to Latin mode. Closing AE gets me back to the same prompt window, but sure enough, my Russian keyboard layout stays in Latin mode at the command prompt.

So the problem is, how do I switch between the Latin and Cyrillic layers of the text mode Russian keyboard layout? Does anyone know where the layer switch hotkeys are documented?

Thank you in advance,

it is not very difficult
you should change in your config.sys the following:


to switch  keyboard lang  you can use KEYBOARDLAYER  from  https://ecsoft2.org/keyboard-layer2

Alfredo Fernández Díaz:
Hi again, and thank you.

Basic system configuration I had covered, but I had forgotten about KLayer/2 -- it works great for text mode sessions too!

Now, for completeness sake...

Nice as KLayer/2 is, I had forgotten about it because I did not really need it -- Left/Right Alt+Shift worked well enough for me with PM sessions, which is all I needed (some 10 years ago). Does anyone know what the system-provided mechanism for switching keyboard layers in VIO sessions is?

Alfredo Fernández Díaz:

--- Quote from: Alfredo Fernández Díaz on March 22, 2023, 09:47:20 pm ---Left/Right Alt+Shift worked well enough for me with PM sessions
Does anyone know what the system-provided mechanism for switching keyboard layers in VIO sessions is?
--- End quote ---
OK, self-reply after comparing a Russian system to a "russified" one and fiddling a bit: the switching mechanism is the same hotkey, by default Left Alt + Left Shift to switch from Latin to Russian, and Right Alt + Right Shift to switch from Russian to Latin. Apparently the problem is, it works in VIO sessions only if 866 is the primary system codepage. OTOH it works in PM sessions regardless of CP866 being primary or secondary :(


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