As a system administrator, upon occasion you get a rare request. One of these crossed my desk the other day. A student asked if he could map the US keyboard over to the Dvorak key mappings. My first inclination was to tweak the “Keyboard” section of the xorg.conf file and restart X windows.
Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Keyboard0" Driver "kbd" Option "XkbLayout" "dvorak" EndSection
While this worked, there is a more elegant solution that requires no X-windows restart:
When the X session ends, the keyboard mapping reverts back to what is defined in the xorg.conf file. I gleaned this information from the Arch Linux Wiki. It contains numerous tips and suggestions managing settings in your xorg.conf file. After looking at Wikipedia’s entry on the Dvorak keyboard, I see it’s possible to type 115 WPM. Nice!