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best tkl keyboard for linux

Using a 60% TKL with Linux is great

This blog post examines the usage of a TKL keyboard with Linux

Recently I was researching the best Tenkeyless TKL 60% keyboard for Linux. The reason was simply based on space considerations. I use a large WACOM Pro tablet and our workstation desks are only four foot wide. Is a smaller TKL keyboard able to perform all the tasks needed to run Linux?

amazon.ca had the perfect Tenkeyless keyboard

There are three reasons why I love amazon.

  1. Fast and responsive website
  2. 10000 reviewers can’t be wrong
  3. The price is usually right

I’ve spent a lot of time reading up on all of the TKL keyboards and eventually settled on the YUNZII SK61 Grey Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. At the time of this writing, it costs only CAN $88 plus tax on amazon.ca

best tkl keyboard for linux
Picture of my SK 61 TKL keyboard for Linux

What about the missing keys

After a few minutes of typing, I got used to the smaller key layout and was able to perform the same tasks as with a full 104 key keyboard. As a Linux user, I sometimes need to reboot the computer into BIOS mode. On a Dell computer, the shortcut key to do so is F12. A TKL keyboard stops at the F10 key so I consulted the printed documentation and voila, the documented shortcut worked exactly the same as pressing F12.

The same goes for the missing arrow keys. For programming it’s best to have a full size keyboard but after a short while I was fine navigating the various code editors such as Codium and NANO with the alternate arrow keys. After a few months of using it, I regret that I haven’t bought a second one. The keys have a nice feel to them and with the extra space I gained, I can place the drawing tablet right next to the mouse.

If you have space issues and need a smaller keyboard then you can’t go wrong with a 60% TKL. The slightly larger models feature dedicated arrow keys as well as the home, end, page up and down keys.

There are Linux scripts which can change the backlit options but the built-in key combinations work so well that I have never bothered.

Bonus tips
Use the Fn + F3 key combination to turn on the backlit keys on your Zephyrus keyboard.
Use the Fn +Esc + q key combination to reset the SK61 keyboard.

It’s been several months now since I bought this keyboard and couldn’t be happier. If you are in the market for a TKL keyboard then the Yunzii SK61 is definitely worth checking out. Thank you for reading.

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