ZMK is the recommended firmware as it's extremely customizable and was designed with wireless in mind. ZMK offers:
- Fully customizable keymap
- Up to 32 keyboard layers
- Flexibility with behaviors such as mod-tap, sticky keys, caps word, among many others
- Use as a USB keyboard with a dongle or have a fully-Bluetooth setup with one of the halves as the central (see details)
- Seamlessly switch between multiple Bluetooth devices (phones, tablets, computers, etc) using user defined keys
- Low power consumption and long battery life
Most of our users rely on the online keymap configurator for firmware customization. No coding is necessary and there is no need to install any software locally!
Updating the firmware is extremely simple:
- Download compiled firmware from the keymap configurator.
- Place the keyboard or dongle into bootloader mode. This will make it appear as a virtual drive.
- Deploy new firmware by copy UF2 firmware file to the virtual drive.
The firmware updating process is documented more thoroughly in the Getting Started Guide.
GitHub Actions Workflow
Power users may prefer building the ZMK firmware using the GitHub Actions workflow. Please check the slicemk/ergodox-zmk-config repository for more information. You may prefer the GitHub Actions workflow if:
- You want to edit the raw
.keymapfile in your favorite text editor.
- You want to build using a custom ZMK fork that integrates open pull requests.
- You want to build with custom ZMK Kconfig options.
Local Firmware Build
Advanced users who wish to modify the ZMK source code directly may prefer using a local build environment. Please refer to the ZMK documentation for instructions on how to do that.
A video demonstrating the local development environment setup process is planned for November 2022 once our new YouTube channel is ready. If you'd like to be notified when the video is available, please drop us a message.
Long term, ZMK has plans for a "ZMK Studio" application for over-the-air real-time keymap configuration similar to Via/Vial for QMK. As of 2022, that project is still in the planning and ideas phase. It will likely be months (maybe year plus) before it is implemented and production ready.
More information and progress can be found on the "Studio" channels on the ZMK Discord (invite).
Once available, all users will be able to take advantage of it by completing a firmware upgrade.
Alternative Firmware Options
There are several other firmware options that users may decide to try at their own risk. The setup and configuration process may require extensive programming and development knowledge.
Please note that upstream QMK does not support nRF5, which is the family of microcontrollers that we use for our keyboards. While there are QMK forks with nRF5 support, we do not recommend them as they are very buggy and difficult for even experienced users to setup.