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How to Change the Keyboard Layout in Ubuntu

Updated July 20, 2017

Ubuntu Linux is a stable, user-friendly operating system that is quickly gaining ground as an open-source alternative to modern systems such as Mac OS X and Windows 7. One of the great features of Ubuntu is the amount of control users have over the appearance and functionality of their desktop and system settings. For example, changing the keyboard layout in Ubuntu is a simple process thanks to the GNOME window manager.

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  1. Open the GNOME "Keyboard Preferences" window. Click on the main Ubuntu menu, hover over "System" and "Preferences", then click on "Keyboard".

  2. Click on the "Layout" tab in the "Keyboard Preferences" window. Make sure your keyboard model is listed correctly (Generic 105-key PC, for example). If not, click on the incorrect keyboard listing, then select your particular model from the list.

  3. Click on the green "Plus" button to add additional keyboard layouts. Select the new layout from the country or language drop-down lists, then click on "Add". Click on the red "Minus" button to remove the currently selected layout.

  4. Change the default Ubuntu keyboard layout. Click on the keyboard layout you want to use, then click on "Apply System-Wide". To undo the changes, click on the "Reset" button.

  5. Click on "Other Options" to set advanced features such as Alt/Win key behaviour. Click on the "Close" button to save the settings and exit.

  6. Tip

    To print an Ubuntu keyboard layout, select the desired layout and then click on the "Print Layout Diagram" button.

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About the Author

Kim Linton is a political analyst, computer technician and ministry advocate who has been writing for the Web since 2001. Her work has been featured on major news sites including "The Wall Street Journal" and "USA Today," and has been published on a variety of niche sites including "Woman's Day" and "Intel." Linton holds degrees in business and marketing from Indiana University.

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