How to change the keyboard layout in Ubuntu

  • By Christopher Kielty, last updated September 07, 2016
  • Filed under: Linux Ubuntu

In this guide we are going to change the keyboard layout in Ubuntu. The best way to do this post installation is to add a keyboard layout. You can then easily switch between layouts as needed. There are many different keyboard layouts available in Ubuntu by default.

Start by going to system settings. Click the little gear icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen, then select “System Settings…”

Ubuntu system settings

From System Settings, click “Text Entry”.

Ubuntu settings text entry

Now, click the little plus button near the bottom left of the Text Entry window.

Ubuntu keyboard layouts

Select a new keyboard layout from the list. Ubuntu has a lot of them by default. To make it a little easier to find the one your looking for, trying typing part of its name into the search field below the list. For example, if you're looking for an English keyboard layout (Dvorak in our example), type "English" into the search field. Once you've found the layout you're looking for, highlight it and click Add.

Ubuntu add keyboard layout

Now that we have a second keyboard layout added, it’s easy to switch between layouts. Click the keyboard layout icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen and select the layout you want. Alternative, we can use keyboard shortcuts to switch between layouts.

super + space will switch to the next keyboard layout

shift + super + space will switch to the previous layout

The super key is the command key on Mac keyboards and the Windows key on Windows keyboards.

Ubuntu keyboard layout menu

To see the keyboard map, go back to the Text Entry menu. Select the layout you want to see, then click the little keyboard icon near the bottom middle of the window.

Keyboard layout added

It’s worth mentioning the keyboard layout drop down menu, located in the upper right hand corner of the screen. In addition to being able to switch between layouts, this nifty little menu can show you a Character Map, display a Keyboard Layout Chart, and even has a shortcut to Text Entry Settings.

Keyboard layout drop down menu