Swiss keyboard layout wrong

Bug #222430 reported by zpin on 2008-04-26
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Fix Released
xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I'm using Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, upgraded from the 8.04 beta. The issue exists in 7.10 as well, I didn't test any other versions.

In the swiss keyboard layout the keys "bar" and "brokenbar" (i.e. "|" and "¦") are inverted. "bar" should be "Right Alt" + "7", but is "Right Alt" + "1", and vice versa for "brokenbar".

I have attached a patch to the symbols file which fixes the issue for me. I will also add a picture of my keyboard so you can verify this. Some very old keyboards seem to have the layout as it is in the current symbols file, but every new keyboard (I have one that is at least 5 years old) I've seen so far has the layout described here. Notebook keyboards included.

zpin (zpin) wrote :
zpin (zpin) wrote :
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Hi zpin,

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. You reported this bug a while ago and there hasn't been any activity in it recently. We were wondering is this still an issue for you? Can you try with the latest development release of Ubuntu? (ISOs are available from

If it remains an issue, could you also attach a new /var/log/Xorg.0.log?
Thanks in advance.

The output of lspci -vvnn would also be worth having.

Changed in xorg:
status: New → Incomplete
Jonathan Ernst (jonathan.ernst) wrote :

I think that this bug is invalid, according to what I've read, altgr+1 should be "bar" and altgr+7 should be broken bar. I have read that Windows keyboard definition is wrong and that it made some keyboard manufacturer exchange those keys.

You can also check wikipedia here : and here :

Another source is Sun :

My Swiss Thinkpad T61 has the broken bar on 7 and the bar on 1 ; what is the make of your keyboard ?

zpin (zpin) wrote :

I have several different logitech keyboards and a sony vaio which all have bar on 7 and brokenbar on 1. The dell keyboards don't seem to indicate anything about bar/brokenbar.

I'll test the latest version as soon as possible.

Jonathan Ernst (jonathan.ernst) wrote :

Here is a Dell keyboard that suggests that your Vaio and your Logitech's try to accomodate Windows's bug.

On the other hand I have a Dell Latitude here where does key are inverted...

I wouldn't mind copying the bug from the Windows layout but many manufacturer don't reproduce it on their keyboards so it's better to complain to Logitech and Microsoft.

zpin (zpin) wrote :

Very old keyboards seem to have brokenbar on 7, newer ones have bar on 7.

So Sony and Logitech use the same brokenbar placement as every (swiss) windows user out there. Additionally, dell seems to have removed the indications on their keyboards.
Imho, the easiest solution is really to go with the windows version here. Complaining to Microsoft/Sony/Logitech won't make them invalidate hundrets of thousands of keyboards and user habits.

Btw, a debian etch install with the swiss german kb layout gives you bar on 7 and brokenbar on 1.

Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2009-01-26
Changed in xorg:
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Peter Greis (peter-greis) wrote :

I will chime in here as well. I have just upgraded an eeepc 901 from 8.04 to 9.04, and I can not get the Swiss German keyboard to work in a normal sense.

Under 8.04 I used the attached layout file, with appr Ftopriate changes to base.xml. For some reason this doesn't work under 9.04 (even though I can get the layout to show up in the keyboard preferences.

Conversely, just running setxkbmap eeepc_de does put in the proper keymap and all is good. Perhaps this variation could be added to the keymaps for the next release of Ubuntu ?



Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2009-09-02
tags: added: hardy

Forwarding this bug from Ubuntu reporter zpin:

Apparently, Windows had a bug that inverted bar and brokenbar on swiss keyboard layouts. Very old keyboards have brokenbar on the 7 key, while newer ones have bar on 7.

Here is the reporter's Logitech keyboard, with bar on the 7:

Here is a dell keyboard with brokenbar on the 7 (allegedly, newer Dell keyboards simply omit showing the AltGr character on the key, leaving it up to the sw):

Wikipedia's entry shows the original configuration:

It sounds like some means of differentiating these two styles of layouts is needed?

I think if the number of "old" keyboards is still large enough, we just have to create 'legacy' variant for the swiss layout. The default one would represent new keyboards (with the bar), the 'legacy' would have broken bar. Does that make sense?

Yes that should probably be workable.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package xkeyboard-config - 1.6-1ubuntu4

xkeyboard-config (1.6-1ubuntu4) karmic; urgency=low

  * Add 103_swiss_legacy.patch: Newer swiss keyboards have swapped bar and
    brokenbar as a workaround to a Microsoft mistake in the Windows
    keyboard layout.
    (LP: #222430)

 -- Bryce Harrington <email address hidden> Tue, 13 Oct 2009 11:06:15 -0700

Changed in xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
Changed in xkeyboard-config:
status: Unknown → Fix Released
Changed in xkeyboard-config:
importance: Unknown → Medium
Changed in xkeyboard-config:
importance: Medium → Unknown
Changed in xkeyboard-config:
importance: Unknown → Medium
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.