Layout options not honored for second keyboard

Bug #373297 reported by oudalrich on 2009-05-07
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I use a Lenovo T60 laptop with a German keyboard. At work, I attach an external keyboard and monitor through a docking station.

Options I set in Keyboard Preferences --> Layout options work for the internal keyboard, but not for the external one. I have set the layout options so I can enter accented characters using key combos, so pressing ~ and then n results in ñ. This works with the internal keyboard, but not with an external (USB) one. In the latter case, the ~ appears as soon as I press the key. I can make it work if I go to Keyboard Preferences, change something in Layout Options, then change it back to what it was before, and click "Apply System-Wide".

I have tried using a "multi key", but the problem is exactly the same: the multi key works with the internal keyboard, but not with the external one until I do the change-something-in-layout-options-then-change-it-back dance. "Keyboard model" is currently set to "Generic 105-key (Intl) PC", the (only) layout is "Germany". "Seperate layout for each window" is not ticked.

uli@EMACS-Keller:~$ lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu 9.04
Release: 9.04

Scott Howard (showard314) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. This bug did not have a package associated with it, which is important for ensuring that it gets looked at by the proper developers. You can learn more about finding the right package at I have classified this bug as a bug in xkeyboard-config.
For future reference you might be interested to know that a lot of applications have bug reporting functionality built in to them. This can be accessed via the Report a Problem option in the Help menu for the application with which you are having an issue. You can learn more about this feature at

affects: ubuntu → xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)

This isn't related to "xkeyboard-config" (what is that, is that a program?), but to GNOME Control Center and how keyboards are handled in general. The properties being described are set in gnome-keyboard-properties, so:

fafhrd@lornvelpa:~$ dpkg -S `which gnome-keyboard-properties`
gnome-control-center: /usr/bin/gnome-keyboard-properties

This bug is EXTREMELY annoying to me, as I have to open the keyboard layout properties every time I plug in a keyboard, to set up my modifiers -- which, mind you, I'm not actually changing, but just opening the preferences app, and then clicking 'ok' to close. Once you put the Control key in it's "correct" spot -- next to 'A' -- you simply cannot go back ;-) -- also, loss and configuration of Compose key, and other modifiers key locationsm, is confounding.

This also looks to be tightly coupled to ticket #376592 , especially the comments related to how to set external keyboards plugged into laptops. To that bug, I would say, also factor in a users's .xmodmap, which GNOME notifies users that it reads on start-up, and effects the main keyboard, so should be applied to external ones, possibly (definitely, if keycodes are the same).

Scott Howard (showard314) wrote :

Hi again, thanks for your additional information.

xkeyboard-config is the package for the part of the server that handles keyboard configuration in general, including multiple localization layout.

Please see Bug #295990 and check if that is a duplicate of your bug. If it is, please add any additional information and mark this one as a duplicate.

Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2009-09-02
tags: added: jaunty
Simos Xenitellis  (simosx) wrote :

This appears to be an evdev bug. I updated the bug report settings to reflect this.

Changed in xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
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