Ergodox Firmware and Layout

by Gergely Nagy @algernoone , Aug 11, 2016.

Here's the state of firmware and default layouts for ergodox keyboard.

There is no THE default layout for the ErgoDox, because there is no single ErgoDox product either, and each of the available ones — assembled or kit alike — come with their own, different firmware.

Original ErgoDox and ErgoDox EZ

The original ErgoDox and the EZ are very similar, so much so that you can run the same firmware on both, with no change (some stuff may or may not work, like the leds on the EZ, or custom mods on an original ErgoDox). Therefore, I'm listing these together.

benblazak's firmware

At the time of the original ErgoDox, the most popular firmware was benblazak's, available here: https://github.com/benblazak/ergodox-firmware

This was written for the ErgoDox specifically, and the Massdrop configurator generates a firmware based on this one, to the best of my knowledge. The default layer is a QWERTY layout, ported from the Kinesis: https://github.com/benblazak/ergodox-firmware/blob/master/src/keyboard/ergodox/layout/qwerty-kinesis-mod.c

Kinesis advantage 2 keyboard layout 53127
Kinesis layout, copied by ergodox

TMK

Another, very popular firmware — even to this day! — is Hasu's TMK, which got ported to the ErgoDox at some point. It's available here: https://github.com/cub-uanic/tmk_keyboard/tree/master/keyboard/ergodox

The original ErgoDox is not supported by the official TMK firmware, but the fork above is recommended. It appears to use a layout same as Kinesis except the Windows key is replaced by Alt: https://github.com/cub-uanic/tmk_keyboard/blob/master/keyboard/ergodox/keymap_blazak.c

QMK

This is a fork of TMK, used in the ErgoDox EZ. The firmware is available at: https://github.com/jackhumbert/qmk_firmware

The default layout looks like this:

ergodox keyboard qmk layout 2016-08-12
ergodox keyboard qmk layout.

Source for the layout is at: https://github.com/jackhumbert/qmk_firmware/tree/master/keyboards/ergodox/keymaps/default

ErgoDox Infinity

This is an upgraded ErgoDox, and requires a slightly different firmware (it has small screens, and can be daisy-chained, etc). QMK has since been ported to the ErgoDox Infinity, and if used with QMK, it uses the same default layout as the EZ. But the default firmware for this product is kiibohd, available from a number of repositories (one for the firmware, one for the layout compiler): https://github.com/kiibohd

This has an on-line configurator, available — with the default layout preloaded — here: https://input.club/configurator-ergodox

ergodox infinity layout 2016-08-12 79311
Ergodox Infinity Layout. (thumb keys basically same as Kinesis)

Other variants and firmwares

There are a lot of custom ErgoDox keyboards out there, each with its own, slightly tweaked firmware and layout. I'm not going to list them, because they most often derive from one of the big names above.

Hope this helps! The ErgoDox landscape is a mess, when it comes to firmware and layouts, unfortunately, and there is no single default for either firmware, or layout.


see also Kinesis and ErgoDox Optimal Thumb Cluster Layouts

back to Ergodox Keyboard Review