How to change the keyboard type layout in elementary OS

Like most of the Linux distros, elementary OS also sets the default keyboard as ‘English(US)’ type if the layout type is not changed during OS installation. No worries, one need not reinstall the OS just to change keyboard style.

In a matter of minutes, you should be able to switch the keyboard layout to one of several other layouts like English (UK), foreign languages, different hardware layouts, etc.. You can either use the GUI way or by the command-line in Terminal. Note that both the methods are not 100% same. The command-line way gives access to several hardware level keyboards, but the GUI way is most useful for switching between languages.

Command-line way to change Keyboard layout

STEP 1: Go to ‘Applications’ in the wing panel and launch ‘Terminal’.

STEP 2: Enter the following command and hit enter.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

In the ncurses style screen within the Terminal, you can scroll through several keyboard layouts. Select the layout you want and press tab key to highlight ‘OK’ and then press enter key. Remember, in this environment, the mouse pointer will not work. Most of keyboard layout names are straightforward, but you won’t see ‘UK’ mentioned there. Generic 102/105-key (Intl) PC implies the international version which is for the UK.

Keyboard Layout Change
Keyboard Layout Change

Change Keyboard Layout from Settings, especially for other Languages

Another way of changing the keyboard layout is from the ‘System Settings’.

STEP 1: Click ‘Power’ icon and select ‘System Settings’.

STEP 2: Click ‘Keyboard’ icon.

STEP 3: Click ‘+’ on the bottom left of the ‘Keyboard’ window.

STEP 4: Add preferred language and click ‘Add Layout’.

STEP 5: The layout gets listed in the left pane. Double-click on it to apply.

System Settings -Keyboard Layout
System Settings -Keyboard Layout

That’s it!

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

1 COMMENT

  1. Some languages like Malayalam, Hindi is not seen in the drop-down list — Elementary OS Juno.

    file:///home/joe/Pictures/Screenshots/Screenshot%20from%202019-06-17%2019-54-59.png
    file:///home/joe/Pictures/Screenshots/Screenshot%20from%202019-06-17%2019-55-04.png

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