Keyboard Layout "Germany Neo 2": Mod4 does not work if used as secondary keyboard layout

Bug #879838 reported by Joshua Hopp on 2011-10-22
This bug affects 14 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

If Neo 2 is used as secondary keyboard layout, Layer 4 and 6 (that is, Mod4) don't work. To reproduce this bug, do the following:

1: Neo 2 as primary keyboard layout
- start gnome-keyboard-properties
- Click "Add..."
- Select Country: "Germany" and Variants: "Germany Neo 2"
- Select "Germany Neo 2" and move it to the top of the list.
Try to use Neo Layer 4 or 6. E.g. type the number "4" which is "Mod4" and "n" in Neo ("<" and "j" in standard German QWERTZ layout) or move the cursor left using "Mod4" and "i" ("AltGr" and "s" in QWERTZ layot). Works as expected.

2: Neo as secondary layout
- Now add "Germany Eliminate dead keys" to the list and move it to the top
- Use "Neo 2" as secondary layout
- Click "Options" and select "Scroll lock" (or any other) as "Key(s) to change layout"
Now switch to Neo using the selected key and try to type "4" or move the curser as above. Instead of Neo Layer 4 or 6 you will have Layer 1/3 (that is, you will be typing an "n" instead of a "4" and an "i" instead of moving the cursor left).

Choosing other keys for layout change or turning the compose key on/off does not change anything. Neither does applying "Neo 2" as primary layout system wide and using "Germany Eliminate dead keys" with "Neo 2" as a secondary keyboard layout as local user.

Applying the patch suggested on for a similar problem ( does not have any effect.

Description: Ubuntu 11.04
Release: 11.04
xkb-data: 2.1-1ubuntu3

affects: ubuntu → xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu)
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
TheKey84 (srkey84-launchpad) wrote :

I can confirm this on Kubuntu 11.04. Same behavior as described by Joshua Hopp.

TheKey84 (srkey84-launchpad) wrote :

I can also confirm this on Kubuntu 11.10, Oneiric. Same problem.

bugbot (bugbot) on 2012-05-31
tags: added: natty
Joshua Hopp (joshuahopp) wrote :

My current workaround is to bypass the gnome keyboard layout as follows:

Use the following shell script as an autostart script:
  function start_neo ()

  # prevent gnome from switching back to their keyboard layout:
  sleep 2 && start_neo
  sleep 5 && start_neo
  sleep 5 && start_neo
  sleep 20 && start_neo

~/neo/ contains:
  xkbcomp ~/neo/my.xkb :0
  xset -r 51 && xset -r 94 # also fix mod repeat

~/neo/my.xkb contains:
  xkb_keymap {
        xkb_keycodes { include "evdev+aliases(qwertz)" };
        xkb_types { include "complete" };
        xkb_compat { include "complete+caps(caps_lock):2+misc(assign_shift_left_action):2+level5(level5_lock):2+ledscroll(group_lock)" };
        xkb_symbols {
                include "pc+de(nodeadkeys):1+de(neo):2+inet(evdev)+group(sclk_toggle)+compose(rwin):1"
        xkb_geometry { include "pc(pc105)" };

tags: added: oneiric precise
Stephan Springer (geryon) wrote :

This bug annoys me, too, and I've seen it in Oneiric (11.10) and Precise (12.04). I guess it is present in Quantal and Raring, too.

I have configured “German Neo 2” and “German eliminate dead keys” layouts, and whatever I choose as the secondary layout does not work correctly. Only the primary layout works as expected.

If Neo is the secondary layout, both Mod4 keys are completely ignored, so instead of layer 4 and 6 I get layer 1 and 3, respectively. (See for details.)

If “Qwertz” is the secondary layout, I can't type “<”, “>” and “|”, because the left one of the two Neo-Mod4-keys is dead. This makes working on the command line rather impossible.

My workaround is to select Neo as the primary layout, and if someone else (unfamiliar with Neo) needs to type on my keyboard, I have to change the primary layout.

tags: added: quantal raring
tags: added: running-unity
TheKey84 (srkey84-launchpad) wrote :

I read in several places (like here: that there is a feature that should preserve shortcut positions when changeing the keyboard layout. It seems that pressing certain keys switches the selected layout back to the primary one.

I had no time to check if this is the reason. Unfortunately I found no way to turn this behavior off.

Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2013-04-04
Changed in xkeyboard-config (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low

This bug affects me on Raring.

Lothar Fausthenze (fausthenze) wrote :

I am affected by this bug on Precise. I can confirm the bug description as a whole.

vak (khamenya) wrote :

Any workarounds for Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS ?

vak (khamenya) wrote :

(btw, in my case only AltGr doesn't work. The QWERTZ key "<>|" works just fine as MOD4 )

Jens (jens-hofer) wrote :

I just hit this bug too and can confirm it for 17.10 and 18.04.

However, there is an easy workaround: Make sure Neo2 is the only layout in your XKB keymap. The easiest way would be to have just one layout. Another solution for me is to have exactly 4 layouts and Neo2 is the 4th. Checking with "xkbcomp $DISPLAY output.xkb" both ways lead to the same keymap.

I will attach a working and non working xkbcomp output. Maybe someone with more experience can diff these and find the root cause.

Jens (jens-hofer) wrote :

Not working export with xkbcomp $DISPLAY

Jens (jens-hofer) wrote :

Working output with xkbcomp $DISPLAY

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