RGB keyboard configuration

I’m not normally a fan of RGB keyboards, but the engineering sample shown in DAVE2D’s video looks very well done. I think most of the time I’d want to keep it a static color, just a different color. A wave would be too distracting when I’m working. :sweat_smile:

The product page for the Framework Laptop 16 provides this description for the RGB keyboard:

US English keys with an RGB backlight. Use hotkeys or QMK utilities to cycle through lighting effects.

I’ve never used a keyboard with QMK firmware before. Searching around the internet, the only utility I can find is used for loading a custom keymap, not for setting different LED colors or patterns.

Are there already user-friendly GUIs out there for setting LEDs on keyboards with QMK firmware? Does Flamework plan on releasing such a tool? I found Framework’s GitHub repository for the keyboard firmware, but that doesn’t tell me what APIs might be used to set colors.


Careful there, dude :wink:

As per:

Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but is there something wrong with talking about Framework’s plans? Some plans are known and confirmed. Even have code on their github.

Oh, I completely missed the “Flamework” typo! :smile:

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Yes. There are two GUIs currently available for QMK, Vial and Via. Both require support to be built into the firmware. Framework is doing support for Via. There is code on their github, and Nrp, the CEO, confirmed it here

If Framework doesn’t also create firmware that supports Vial, the community will probably do it. Vial has more options.

Changing the LED color or pattern will be easy. With Via you will need a Chrome-based browser. You’ll go to https://usevia.app and allow it to connect to your keyboard.

Once someone creates Vial firmware, then we won’t need a browser or internet connection. Vial offers desktop apps for Windows, Linux, and Mac, in addition to a web option at https://vial.rocks.

Oh no, not at all!

I was just joking about the typo!

It made me laugh - and reminded me of the time I accidentally called my friend (Stacy) “Spacy” (which she definitely was not!).

Oh, I completely missed the typo! :smile:

I missed the typo too and was also confused about that initial response :sweat_smile:

As I’m learning more about Via, I’m not crazy about a remote web application that has control over part of my hardware settings. That makes me uncomfortable from a security perspective and means that I couldn’t make changes while offline. Even their client releases are just wrappers that point to the remote web app.

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Yeaa, a lot of people aren’t a fan of that. And to be honest, in my opinion, the Via developers are not a great bunch. Via has a history of being difficult and uncooperative with QMK, which Via is based on and also fully dependent on. So difficult that it pushed QMK devs forward to work on their own GUI. And Via was originally closed source. Currently, it’s open source, perhaps pushed to it by the threat of Vial taking all their users.

But I really do think we’ll see Vial firmware pretty quickly. Hopefully, Framework will realize that Vial better aligns with their philosophy. But if not, the community will probably do it. Hell, I might do it. Even though I don’t have a FW-16 on order.

I think there is a way to run the Via web app locally, without an internet connection. But eh, it’s still not great.


Framework support had this to say:

Thank you for reaching out and for your patience, we’ll be releasing more documentation and guides on the RGB Keyboard in the near future showing how to adjust mappings and behavior using the VIA website, but the simplest way to configure the RGB behavior will be directly on the Keyboard, whilst holding the Function key the following keys will adjust the backlight behavior:

RGB and White Backlight variants:

  • Space = Step through backlight brightness levels

RGB Backlight:

  • W = RGB animation on/off
  • E = Next animation
  • D = Prev animation
  • R = Increase RGB Hue (doesn’t apply to all animations)
  • F = Decrease RGB Hue (doesn’t apply to all animations)
  • T = Increase RGB Saturation (doesn’t apply to all animations)
  • G = Decrease RGB Saturation (doesn’t apply to all animations)
  • Y = Increase RGB Brightness
  • H = Decrease RGB Brightness
  • U = Increase RGB Brightness
  • J = Decrease RGB Brightness

One of the default animations available will be “Solid Color” which does exactly what you’d expect, and sets all keys to a single static color (which can be adjusted either within VIA’s web interface or using the keys above).

I have decided to stay with the standard backlit keyboard.


Oh yea, sorry, I forgot to mention that controlling the RGB color and patterns could be done from the keyboard via hotkeys.

You can see the default key arrangement on Framework’s github.

     * Function layer
     *         ┌─────┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬───┬────┐
     * 14 keys │FN lk│Mut│vDn│vUp│Prv│Ply│Nxt│bDn│bUp│Scn│Air│Prt│App│Ins │
     *         ├───┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴────┤
     * 14 keys │   │   │   │   │   │   │   │   │   │   │   │   │   │      │
     *         ├───┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬────┤
     * 14 keys │     │   │RGB│Nxt│Hue│Sat│Spd│Brt│   │   │Pau│   │   │    │
     *         ├─────┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴┬──┴────┤
     * 13 keys │      │   │SRq│Prv│Hue│Sat│Spd│Brt│ScL│   │   │   │       │
     *         ├──────┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴─┬─┴───────┤
     * 12 keys │        │   │   │   │   │   │Brk│   │   │   │   │         │
     *         ├────┬───┼───┼───┼───┴───┴───┴───┴───┼───┼───┼───┴┬───┬────┤
     *         │    │   │   │   │                   │   │   │    │PgU│    │
     * 11 keys │    │   │   │   │ Toggle Backlight  │   │   │Home├───┤End │
     *         │    │   │   │   │                   │   │   │    │PgD│    │
     *         └────┴───┴───┴───┴───────────────────┴───┴───┴────┴───┴────┘
     * 78 total
    [_FN] = LAYOUT(
        _______, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______, _______,
        _______, _______, RGB_TOG, RGB_MOD, RGB_HUI, RGB_SAI, RGB_SPI, RGB_VAI, _______, _______, KC_PAUS, _______, _______, _______,
        _______, _______, KC_SYRQ, RGB_RMOD,RGB_HUD, RGB_SAD, RGB_SPD, RGB_VAD, KC_SCRL, _______, _______, _______,          _______,
        _______,          _______, _______, BL_BRTG, _______, KC_BRK,  _______, _______, _______, _______, _______,          _______,
        _______, _______, _______, _______,          BL_STEP,                   _______, _______, KC_HOME, KC_PGUP, KC_PGDN, KC_END

Of course, that’s not guaranteed to be the final arrangement they ship with. And you can always change anything you wish.

I think there is a typo / error with the Y and H keys in the list they gave. One, Increase and Decrease RGB Brightness appear twice.
Two, the FW16 code shows that instead those keys would be:
Y= Increase Effect Speed (animations)
H = Decrease Effect Speed (animations)

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