Configure Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Keyboard Layout for Native Languages

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Ubuntu 18.04 LTS was recently for general testing. and I quickly installed it on my lab computer running Windows 10 with VMware Workstation Pro. The steps below is how I got Ubuntu native language keyboard layout configured.

Few weeks ago we showed students and new users how to change the default language in Ubuntu to their native language. To read that post, please click here. This post is going to show students and new users how to change or use alternative keyboard layouts in Ubuntu 18.04

There are many different keyboard layouts for different languages that come with Ubuntu. One language can have many different keyboard layouts. You can make your current keyboard behave like a keyboard with different layout, regardless of the letters and symbols printed on the keys.

This is the beauty of Ubuntu. There’s something for everyone!

To get started with using alternative keyboard layouts with Ubuntu, continue with the steps below.

Changing Ubuntu Keyboard Layouts

To change the keyboard layouts, go to the system menu at the top right corner of your screen and select System Settings as shown below.

ubuntu dash dock

Then select Region & Language on the left of the items list to open the panel.

ubuntu language pack

Click the + button in the Input Sources section, select the language which is associated with the layout, then select a layout and press Add.

ubuntu keyboard layout

When you add a new input source, it becomes available to use and it’s shown in the list below Input Sources.

ubuntu keyboard layout 1

Some rarely used keyboard layout variants are not available by default when you click the + button. To make also those input sources available you can open a terminal window by pressing Ctrl Alt T and run this command:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.input-sources show-all-sources true

Using Alternative Keyboard Layouts

Now that the keyboard is available, you can quickly change to another layout by using Input Source Keyboard Shortcuts. These shortcuts open the Input Source chooser where you can move forward and backward. By default, you can switch to the next input source with Super Space and to the previous one with Shift Super Space. You can change these shortcuts in the Keyboard settings.

The super key is the Windows key to the left of the spacebar with the Windows logo.

ubuntu keyboard layout 2

This is how to change to alternative keyboard layouts in Ubuntu.


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  1. And this should work but does not. Hahaha, welcome to linux land.

    1. same here bro

  2. Help! In Ubuntu 16, I could switch through keyboard layouts in a specified order. Now I can only switch from newer to older. This is not a problem with two layouts, but I have 6 keyboard layouts. Switching now takes much longer, because the order changes every time I use another keyboard. It takes a second or more for every switch and this is a time suck for me (I switch amongst the keyboards more than once per minute.) Any suggestions?

  3. Guys, you have FREE O.S. as opposed to other, spying O.Ses. and you still serve nasty comments! Yes, it has hick ups now and then. So do you, obviously. Homo-sapiens, based on you as a sample, is the most vile animal on earth!

  4. Problem – no regional settings selection in setup. thoughts?

  5. Oops, new to Ubuntu after 30 years with windows – used the activities menu and typed “reg” and it came up/ Easy after that.

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