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Chromium-Browser in Yocto with Touch-Keyboard

Question asked by Marc-Oliver Westerburg on May 8, 2015
Latest reply on Feb 11, 2016 by Marc-Oliver Westerburg
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Hi all



We'd like to integrate the Chromium-Browser in our Yocto-OS-Images for our i.MX6-based devices (using the "meta-browser" Yocto-layer). This works already quite well (with Chromium versions 40, 41, 42, and 43), but we have trouble getting a virtual touch-keyboard working to allow text input in web-pages. All our devices are equipped with resistive or capacitive touchscreens and none of our customers is using our devices with real hardware keyboards. Therefore we need to provide virtual soft-keyboards on the display, which can be be used via the touchscreen.


While the more or less full desktop Yocto-configurations (with the "sato" or "xfce" desktops) do provide working soft-keyboards, it seems that these must always be shown and hidden manually by the user using the desktop-panel/-dock. These keyboards don't open/close automatically when you select a text-input field in the Chromium browser, and when you start Chromium in "kiosk"-mode (i.e. without GUI-decoration, URL-address-line, etc), as most of our customers demand, these soft-keyboards don't seem to work at all. You can't even open them, because the desktop-panel is not shown on the display (on purpose), when Chromium is running in kiosk-mode.


While Chromium itself seems to include code for its own private soft-keyboard in the Chromium source-tree, and provides command-line options like "--enable-virtual-keyboard", this presumed Chromium-internal soft-keyboard doesn't seem to work, either. Adding debugging messages to the corresponding Chromium source-code shows, that it doesn't even seem to try calling the soft-keyboard functions.


Using Chromium-Extensions we have also been only partially successful:

  • Using the "Google Input Tool" extension, which several online forums recommend, doesn't seem to work, at all: Most of the time we're unable this keyboard at all, an even when it does pop-up occasionally, button presses don't get sent to the selected text-input fields
  • Using the "Virtual Keyboard" extension from found in the Chromium Web-Store works somewhat for most web-forms, but it fails completely e.g. for the search-form on (opens briefly but closes immediately again before you're able to type even a single letter) and on forms, where it works, it often doesn't scroll the web-site properly when it opens, so that you don't see the text-input field you're typing into.



Does anybody have an idea, how to enable the Chromium-internal soft-keyboard or how to integrate one of the desktop virtual keyboards (like "matchbox-keyboard" or "xkb") in such a way into the system, that they pop-up automatically when selecting a text-input field in the Chromium browser? Or does anybody know better Chromium soft-keyboard extensions that work on all web-forms automatically?


Thanks for your help.



Kind Regards,