# How do I change the login manager's keyboard layout?

I have a netbook with an AZERTY layout. I've changed it to "bépo" to try it, but now I've reset it to a french layout.

While all the apps have taken the change into account, Ubuntu's login manager still uses bépo, making entering passwords a challenge. I've enabled the virtual keyboard for the time being so that I could login again.

I don't remember what I had done in the first place to switch the login screen to bépo, but now I can't switch it back.

EDIT : In the keyboard settings page, if I click "use system defaults", then everything is in bépo ! Where is this different keyboard layout set ?

ANOTHER EDIT : Here's what did not work :

1. Changing the layout in settings
2. using the "use system defaults" checkbox in settings
3. sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration
4. changing it in Xconf
5. adding a line in /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf
6. sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales
8. dpkg-reconfigure lightdm
9. sudo gsettings set org.gnome.libgnomekbd.keyboard layouts "['fr']"
10. combinations of the above

Is it possible to relaunch the keyboard configuration tool that's in ubuntu's setup ? The thing has automatic layout detection and it changes the setting everywhere.

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maybe try to switch your keyboard with this command : sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration , or did i missunderstand something ? –  Private Aug 5 '13 at 15:07
I had tried sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm, will try yours now –  Manu Aug 5 '13 at 15:14
Nope, it's still the same keyboard at the login screen. –  Manu Aug 5 '13 at 15:17
If one of the answers solved your problem, please accept it. (even if it's your own) –  minerz029 Feb 17 '14 at 10:32

From terminal, run the following command to set the language layouts (you can set maximum four layouts) for your lightdm login screen:

gsettings set org.gnome.libgnomekbd.keyboard layouts "['us\taltgr-intl', 'fr']"


With the above command you set English (International) and French layouts, but you can change them as you wish.

To see the current layouts, you can use:

gsettings get org.gnome.libgnomekbd.keyboard layouts


Now, you should be able to use the keyboard icon from the top-right of your screen:

Next is a screen capture from my login screen (I used gsettings set org.gnome.libgnomekbd.keyboard layouts "['us\taltgr-intl', 'gr', 'ro']" in terminal). As you can see, I can change the language layout as I wish:

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I thought of that of course, only "french/bépo" appears in that list. –  Manu Aug 21 '13 at 19:36
@Manu Why don't you add another one keyboard layout? –  Radu Rădeanu Aug 21 '13 at 19:39
I keep doing that, the layout at the login screen are not the same as the layouts once logged in –  Manu Aug 21 '13 at 19:46
@Manu Then use this command from terminal to set layouts (you can set maximum four layouts): gsettings set org.gnome.libgnomekbd.keyboard layouts "['us\taltgr-intl', 'fr']" (for English - International and French). To see the current layouts, use: gsettings get org.gnome.libgnomekbd.keyboard layouts –  Radu Rădeanu Aug 21 '13 at 19:56
I tried "['fr']" but that did not work. Problem is the layout is already in French, but in the wrong variant. –  Manu Aug 21 '13 at 20:10

Must have been a weird lightdm bug.

Lightdm got the new keyboard layout once I changed the login manager to gdm, then back to lightdm, even though simply doing dpkg-reconfigure lightdm did nothing.

So here it is :

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gdm


sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm


sudo apt-get remove gdm


Then, restart.

Changing a keyboard layout in linux is serious business.

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Make a short-key in System Settings > Keyboard Layout > Options under "key(s) to change layout" to switch layouts.

You can see detailed answer here Keyboard shortcut for Lockscreen not working

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The layout change key doesn't seem to have any effect on the login screen. –  poolie May 20 '14 at 4:12

What did seem to work for me was this suggestion: change /etc/default/keyboard.

Banging head on desk indeed, this is ridiculous.

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