The Workgirl Keyboard Layout

There’s a keyboard layout I’ve been using for the past 8 or 9 months. It’s called the workgirl layout. It may look familiar to some of you:

Workgirl Keyboard Layout

By no coincidence, this layout happens to have the exact same key placement as the workman keyboard layout. Rest assured though, it is not the same layout.

Oh, you’re still wondering what the difference is? The name, silly!

Installing the Workgirl Keyboard Layout on Linux


These days, X11 comes with this partially installed already. Here’s what you need to do to finish the installation:

First, run this command as root,

find /usr/share/X11/xkb -type f -print0 | xargs -0 sed -i 's/workman/workgirl/g; s/Workman/Workgirl/g'

Then, save this config to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/90-workgirl.conf

Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "workgirl-layout"
	MatchIsKeyboard "yes"
	Option      "XkbVariant" "workgirl"

Linux TTY

Unfortunately, this doesn’t come installed out of the box, but you can still install it.

As root, run these commands to install the keymap:

mkdir -p /usr/local/share/keymaps/i386/workgirl

curl -sSf '' | sed 's/workman/workgirl/g; s/Workman/Workgirl/g' | tee '/usr/local/share/keymaps/i386/workgirl/' > /dev/null

Then, if you’re using a systemd system, add this to /etc/vconsole.conf


If you’re not using systemd, consult your distribution’s documentation. It’ll probably involve running loadkeys. On puppy linux I just had to install kbd and console-data, and then add loadkeys /usr/local/share/keymaps/i386/workgirl/ to my /etc/rc.d/rc.local.


I can’t use wayland due to various missing accessibility features that I need, so I’m afraid I don’t have instructions for that. Feel free to contact me if you have some recommendations that work.

“But I’m not a workgirl either”

I may vibe with the word “girl”, but I’m enby, so I get it. I went with “workgirl” for this post as a protest against the name “workman” that’s recognizably derivative without it coming across as plagiarism.

I highly encourage you to come up with your own name for your keyboard layout. Gender is a scam, and so is the idea of a canonical name for a keyboard layout. Name your stuff whatever you want, and don’t let other people force their names on you!