Keyboard layout on login screen is always QWERTY

Bug #8836 reported by Chris De Neve on 2004-10-06
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xfree86 (Ubuntu)
Fabio Massimo Di Nitto

Bug Description

During installation, I configured my keyboard as Belgian (AZERTY) layout.
In the login-screen (when Ubuntu starts), when I have to enter user-id and password,
keyboard layout always seems to be US-QWERTY. After authentication, the keyboard layout
is correct (BE-AZERTY) (I am using the English Ubuntu desktop).
This behaviour does not change after first login.
Expected behaviour: keyboard layout on login-screen should be consistent with the chosen

hmm i am not sure i understand 100%...

when you do a graphical login the keyboard is set to US-QWERTY and as soon as
you are inside GNOME you have the proper keyboard BE-AZERTY??

Can you also attach /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file?


Chris De Neve (cdn) wrote :

Created an attachment (id=353)

Chris De Neve (cdn) wrote :

You understood 100% :-)
File is uploaded...

Ok the problem is not in kdb-chooser but in the way in which the xserver config
detects the keyboard.

At this point in time it is based on the LANG settings the user provides at
installation phase.

If you installed using some english/american you will get a us keyboard.

The problem is more general that there is no 1 to 1 mapping between console
layouts and X layouts
and it will be fixed for the next release.

As a workaround you can either do (if you did NOT modify the configuration

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86

or change the layout in the configuration.

Please also check these information for me. It will help me to make the
detection more reliable:

  "de_BE@euro" ) LAYOUT="de" XKBOPTIONS="" ;;
  "de_BE" ) LAYOUT="de" XKBOPTIONS="" ;;
  "fr_BE@euro" ) LAYOUT="be" XKBOPTIONS="" ;;
  "fr_BE" ) LAYOUT="be" XKBOPTIONS="" ;;
  "nl_BE@euro" ) LAYOUT="be" XKBOPTIONS="" ;;
  "nl_BE" ) LAYOUT="be" XKBOPTIONS="" ;;
  *"BE"* ) LAYOUT="de" XKBOPTIONS="" ;;

That means that if LANG = the values at the beginning of the line
the layout is set to LAYOUT=.

Is this correct? as a general fallback I was told to use the german layout
since it is the most common case.

Can you also kindly provide me the output of:

grep -A 3 'Name: debian-installer/keymap' /var/cache/debconf/config.dat


hey Mr bugzilla.. i told you i am the owner of this bug ;)

Chris De Neve (cdn) wrote :

Thanks for the info Fabio.

Output for 'grep -A 3 'Name: debian-installer/keymap'

Name: debian-installer/keymap
Template: debian-installer/keymap
Value: be2-latin1
Owners: base-config, d-i

I am not sure which keybord-layout is used for de_BE. It might be german,
swiss/german or belgian keyboard layout, I will look it up.
I would definitely suggest to use be-layout as general fallback as this is
without any doubt the most common case. Rest is OK for me.


Chris De Neve (cdn) wrote :


By the way (as you pointed out correctly): I did use the English language during


Chris De Neve (cdn) wrote :

Hello Fabio,

It looks like the de_BE keyboard indeed uses the German (de) keyboard layout.


Hi Chris,
thanks a lot for the info. I will see if i can workaround somehow to this problem.

*** Bug 8895 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

*** Bug 9087 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Juerd (ubuntu-juerd) wrote :

Same problem here. I use a Dvorak keyboard, and thus chose dvorak in the
installer. The installer understands that without the proper layout
configuration, you cannot enter texts and presents this question as one of the
first, with the ability to pick an answer without using any letter.

However, X defaults to QWERTY. If this is indeed based on the language choice,
then that must be changed. Keyboards and languages are NOT closely related. Most
Dutch computer users have US keyboards (in fact, IBM still ships only Dutch
keyboards, which is one of the reasons they don't sell many computers (including
laptops) here). I use Dvorak, which is never the default for any locale.

Apart from that it should just Work, it would be nice if the graphical login
offered some way to change the keyboard layout. I really do not feel like
finding a QWERTY keyboard at that point, and it is because I know how to
configure X that I could login after manually changing the configuration. End
users should never have to do this.

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

The problem of keyboard layouts is much more complex than it may appear. This
is an item that we intend to address for the Hoary release with a comprehensive

Yesterday I made an installation and I had a problem very similar to this one.

What I did:
- I setup everything as US English for the keyboard and language, but when
asking in which country I am I put Denmark.

What I got:
- During all the installer I was running with the correct US keyboard but on the
first login screen my keyboard was set as a Danish one. In my case after the
login, I was still with a Danish keyboard configuration.

I simply changed the XFree configuration and changed the XkbLayout value from
"dk" to "US" to fix the problem.

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 9520.

i've another problem
i've a keyboard QWERTY arabic/english .. but in my " keyboard " manager i've only QWERTY arabic or QWERTY english so to write in arabic i've to change my keyboard manager to switch to arabic , then when i want to write english i redo this !!
can anyone help?

super55 (saadtahir250) wrote :

hi , i am also installed new version of ubuntu (9.4) ,i set the default language an Arabic /English,when i wanna log in it's just type arabic and the password and username is by english us,so i can't login to ubuntu .i welly need to help

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