USABILITY: keyboard-configuration: fails to explain a possibly delayed activation of keyboard layout (input locale) configuration state

Bug #1895479 reported by Andreas Mohr on 2020-09-13
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description


Description: Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS
Release: 20.04

I tried to change input locale (keyboard layout) in xorg xfce4 session on 20.04.1 (odroid C4 repo), from en-US to German.

This... was not really successful.

# dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration
Your console font configuration will be updated the next time your system
boots. If you want to update it now, run 'setupcon' from a virtual console.
update-initramfs: deferring update (trigger activated)
Processing triggers for initramfs-tools (0.136ubuntu6.2) ...
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-4.9.230-35

At this point, despite having changed layout configuration to German,
this updated layout configuration state was NOT actually made effective, within my xorg xfce4 session at least.

keyboard-configuration Version: 1.194ubuntu3
"To apply new settings, restarting the keyboard-setup service should suffice, otherwise you can try to restart kernel input system via udev:

    udevadm trigger --subsystem-match=input --action=change

or reboot the whole OS."

 service keyboard-setup restart
did not achieve it, thus
I tried
    udevadm trigger --subsystem-match=input --action=change
which did achieve it (boils down to: "z is z, and y is y.").

Thus, it strongly seems that
keyboard-configuration (while at least providing some usability hinting about setupcon aspects already) is missing usability hinting about its rather questionably indirect/delayed handling of keyboard configuration state.

Suggested pseudo code:
# we don't have (XXX?) immediate activation of changed configuration state,
# at least in certain environments (see ) thus
# at least provide some usability hinting to let the user know what to do next.
if is_changed
  echo "Changes of keyboard configuration state possibly may not take effect immediately - instructions see docs (Wiki), or do a full reboot."

However instead of necessitating additional exhaustive usability hinting blurbs, it might be preferable to
have things simply directly Just Work (tm) as expected, in all environment contexts.
Or better: do keep cleanly distinct separation of
aspects, and cleanly implement this by:
- providing an implementation-specifics-abstracted command ("keyboard-configuration-layout-refresh"?) for this particular aspect
- directly referring to this simple fixed-protocol command name within usability hinting message string

Also, I am somewhat suspecting that
related packages (keyboard-configuration etc.) might be bit of a dependency/structural mess in general
(c.f. comment 11 of #1621378).

See also related Debian_bug_955215.


Andreas Mohr

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