Keyboard layout switching with "Both Alt keys together" broken

Bug #565365 reported by Anton E. Gavrilov on 2010-04-17
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The default keyboard shortcut for switching keyboard layouts, "Both Alt keys together", never works right, and most of the time it doesn't work at all.

In fact, until today, in each and every Ubuntu version starting from 5.04, on at least 4 completely different hardware configuration, it had never, ever worked for me at all, not once. I tried this combination with every fresh install, and it never worked.

But today, as I was filing this bug while booted into Lucid Lynx 10.4 Beta 2, something just short of a miracle happened. I pressed both Alt keys together and the layout switched from USA to Rus!! ZOMG!!11 Excited, I pressed Alt-Alt again, but this time nothing happened. I switched back to the USA layout by clicking on the keyboard indicator, and again I could switch USA -> Rus by pressing Alt-Alt, but not back.

I fiddled some more, and suddenly it stopped working. Pressing Alt-Alt didn't do anything anymore.

And then it started working again (still one way only). And then it stopped working again.

(As a side note, I took care to press the left Alt key first; RAlt followed by LAlt never works)

The behavior of the Alt-Alt combo seems to depend on what layouts you have installed in Keyboard Preferences -> Layouts. As I mentioned above, when the English (USA) and Russian (Russia) layouts are enabled, it *may* work for switching USA to Rus, but never back.

If I add USA, Bulgarian and Russian, Alt-Alt will (that is, may) switch from USA to Bgr, but not Brg->Rus nor Rus->USA.

You can add other layouts, say Greek, and add other shortcuts (like Alt-Space), and it'll produce a different effect each time, but it never works fully.

It's worth repeating that Alt-Alt is the *default* keyboard layout shortcut. So in a default installation of Ubuntu localized for Russia, switching layouts from the keyboard will be *impossible* until the user finds the "Keys to change layout" setting.

affects: ubuntu → xorg (Ubuntu)
Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2010-04-18
tags: added: lucid
Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2010-04-18
affects: xorg (Ubuntu) → xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)
Anton E. Gavrilov (tonik) wrote :

I checked with the release build of Ubuntu 10.4 and contrary to what I originally reported, the default shortcut for switching layouts appears to be not Alt+Alt but Alt+Shift, and that one does work.

So the impact of this bug is not as severe as I thought.

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