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I use 12.04 Server in command line mode (no X installed), and I would like to change the keyboard layout. How can I do this?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 33 down vote accepted

Please try the following command:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-data

If it says you don't have the package, then install console-data with:

sudo apt-get install console-data

More about Locale Configuration: LocaleConf - Community Help Wiki

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Like that other answer mentions: This does not carry over a reboot. (tested in 12.04.1 LTS) –  JonnyJD Aug 1 '13 at 20:11
A hint for people who want to change their keyboard layout during console install: Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add 'universe' to the listed URL. Otherwise it can't find consol-data –  Tobias F. Meier Aug 19 '13 at 17:46

After trying sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-data, I found out that it doesn't work after a reboot.


sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

does work after reboot and also has more options.

More info here.

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How do I find out what kind of keyboard I have? It's the Windows 8 Surface pro one. What's the US standard one? –  CMCDragonkai Apr 9 '14 at 2:16
This is the correct answer, not the other one. –  Clayton Dukes Jun 19 '14 at 15:55


loadkeys es (Spanish, for example)
loadkeys pt (Portuguese, for example)
loadkeys br (Brazilian Portuguese, for example)

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  • Set US layout: setxkbmap us
  • Set GB layout: setxkbmap gb
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