I have just switched to this layout and it is taking a bit of getting used to although it is supposed to be faster to type with. This was the default layout for typewriters was it not? I heard that they had to switch to Qwerty to slow down typists but it is doing that for me as well although the keys are actually pretty intelligently placed once you start typing with this layout. It grows on you like a mould.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard. More information here. Once you get used to the new layout it is very good to type with, the necessary keys are closer together and since this is said to be a faster way to type, I decided to give it a try. Pulling out the keys and putting them back in was a heap of fun and gives me a chance to clean out the dirt under the keys. And it is easy to get working on the text console. This example below shows the contents of /etc/default/keyboard.
# If you change any of the following variables and X is configured to
# use this file, then the changes will become visible to X only if udev
# is restarted. You may need to reboot the system.
# The following variables describe your keyboard and can have the same
# values as the XkbModel, XkbLayout, XkbVariant and XkbOptions options
# in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
# If you don't want to use the XKB layout on the console, you can
# specify an alternative keymap. Make sure it will be accessible
# before /usr is mounted.
And the configuration in /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Option "XkbLayout" "dvorak"
I had to type setxkbmap dvorak to get this to work in Linux Mint using the Fluxbox desktop. This is a quick way to change the keyboard type.