It is impossible to switch keyboard layout in login window

Bug #997140 reported by Ilya Smirnov on 2012-05-09
This bug affects 10 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Linux Mint
Fix Committed

Bug Description

Hello! I have installed Linux Mint Debian 201204 in Russian locale and created username and password in latin characters. Now I can't switch keyboard layout in login window to input latin characters. Surely you know about this problem, but I reported just in case. Thanks a lot!

description: updated
affects: → linuxmint
Yasen6275 (ohtya) wrote :

Same here with Bulgarian locale.

Christian Mertes (cmertes) wrote :

Changing /etc/default/keyboard by hand and rebooting will help (logout isn't enough). There should be an easier way though and one that works without being logged in in the first place.

Markus Neff (nanotux) wrote :

Same here. Keyboard layout on login screen can't be changed. /etc/default/keyboard is set correctly.

Changed in linuxmint:
status: New → Confirmed
Markus Neff (nanotux) wrote :

This seems to be an issue of a kernel module. Why this suspicion?

I use a wireless keyboard "Logitech K750" with "unifying receiver" on USB and had the issue with the wrong keyboard layout (US) on login screen. After the login the layout changed and was correct. Now I connected a second keyboard on PS/2. Two keyboards are functional simultaneously. Typing "z" on the Logitech keyboard shows "y" on login screen. After that I hit any key on the PS/2-keyboard. Now back to the Logitech keyboard: typing "z" shows "z" on login screen!

On console you can search the supposed kernel module "hid_logitech_dj":

markus@mint:~$ lsmod | grep logitech
hid_logitech_dj 18730 0
usbhid 47238 1 hid_logitech_dj
hid 99636 2 hid_logitech_dj,usbhid

Please give feedback: Is your keyboard wireless? What sort of USB-receiver do you have? Thank you.

Daniel Helfer (daniel-helfer) wrote :

I encountered the same problem now with Linux Mint 15.
I have a usb cable bound swiss-german keyboard (logitech).

Changing /etc/default/keyboard as mentioned above helped me too.

Additionally I observed the same issue now with Ubuntu 13.04 (BUT not with 12.10).
So I guess it's not a Mint specific issue.

Radek Liska (radekliska) wrote :

I have a similar problem with Mint 16 Cinnamon. I can swtich either the language of all UI (along with keyboard layout) or nothing at all.
Keyboard is wireless Logitech K520, Unifying USB receiver.

Andy Gaw (andy-yorks) wrote :

Similar issues with Mate17 set up with UK English keyboard. The login screen appears to use US (@ and " are transposed) but after login input revents to UK English. Modifying XKBLAYOUT and/or XKBVARIANT in /etc/default/keyboard per Christian's post did not make any difference. Default values were


what does work (for me) is editing file /etc/mdm/Init/Default

adding the line

/usr/bin/setxkbmap gb

immediately before the last line in the file, which is

exit 0


I have a similar problem with cinnamon 16 and cinnamon 17 on all my three computers:
The keyboard setting for the login is not the same as for the system. I need a "swiss-german" keyboard, so I have to apply a change in /etc/default/keyboard:

I have to set XKBLAYOUT="ch(de)" and then it works...

Didnt't have this issue before with cinnamon 15, 14...

xcape77 (xcape77) wrote :

Hope there will be a solution

Configuration and switching can be done by editing /etc/default/keyboard.

Problem with Logitech keyboards should be addressed by (MDM 2.0.15).

Please use github for MDM issues, instead of Launchpad.

Changed in linuxmint:
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
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