By Sascha Maier
This article is also known as: Getting rid of the “My-Keyboard-is-not-typing-the-@-char” calls. The guys from the techsupport department, especially in international organizations know them only too well – the calls regarding the wrong keyboard layout. Wouldn’t be nice to ship a new client computer to it’s destination and the users there automatically get the right keyboard settings? This article provides an overview how to configure the Workspace Manager to deliver the right Keyboard layout for each user based on OU membership.
In case you’re already familiar with RES Workspace Manager, you may perhaps wonder why one instead wouldn’t use a Zone based on IP membership for something like this. The reason is simple. Keyboard layout is usually tied to the nationality of the user. While a Zone may represent what physical location the user currently is at, it doesn’t take travelling users into account. In other words, if you are an American user travelling to the Paris office of your company, you probably wouldn’t like to have your keyboard reconfigured to French, right?
In order to set automatic first-time keyboard configuration up with Workspace Manager, follow the simple steps below.
1) Prepare the registry keys:
For each keyboard layout, you will need a separate set of registry keys, however it’s very easy to add them. At the end of this article you will find a Building block I have prepared, with keyboard layouts for the following countries in alphabetical order:
- United Kingdom
- United States
The only thing you need to do is assign each registry set to the right respective OU in your AD. This of course requires that your AD has some sort of geographical structure to it, i.e. OU’s for the different countries. If that’s not the case, you could consider creating country groups. In case your given keyboard layout is not covered in the buildingblock, you can easily import it manually and manage your own Keyboard Layout by following the procedure below. Click on the thumbnails on the right to see the fullsize screenshots:
- Configure your computer with the appropriate keyboard layout settings, using the Control Panel applet as usual
- Open the Workspace Manager Console and go to Composition | Other | User Registry.
- Click Add | Registry
- Go to Action | Registry | Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER
- Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Keyboard Layout\ Here are the registry keys located and click add.
At this point I would very much recommend that you use the “Run once” checkbox. This way, the user will have the opportunity to change the keyboard layout later. To finish the setup of a new keyboard, just enter a name for the setting, save and exit.
2) Assign Keyboard to the right OU / Country:
Once you have finished the registry configuration it’s time to assign the registry set to the right OU. Click the Access Control tab and then click the Add button to pick an OU. Note that if your geograpical OU’s have child OU’s, you should make sure you pick the “Organizational Unit including child OUs…” item from the menu.
3) Save configuration and enable User Registry
That’s it! To round things off, we deliberately created the registry settings in the Global context and not under an application. The reason is that you want the right keyboard layout from the beginning of the session. Therefore you will have to logoff and log in again, in order for the new keyboard layout to take effect. Please note that by using the Building Block you will import all keyboard kayouts mentioned above – please delete the keys not needed or configure Access Control as described above. If you forget to configure Access Control the last registry set in the order will be applied.