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I was trying to edit a keyboard layout in Ubuntu 14.04, but it wasn't accepting the changes.

  • I looked it up and found I needed to delete /var/lib/xkb to make the change take effect. I did that and it still hadn't taken effect, but nothing had changed either.
  • I looked further and found I had to do sudo restart lightdm. I did that and it did its thing, but when I tried to log back in, I couldn't type.
  • I shut down and tried again, but I still couldn't type. I went to onscreen keyboard and it said No X keyboard found, retrying…

I don't even have a USB keyboard or anything, it's a laptop with the keyboard built in. I can't do anything because my keyboard doesn't work and I have no idea what to do. Help!

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Open Onboard then type login password – sohel4r May 1 '14 at 0:20
I don't know if I have Onboard installed. I also don't know how I would access it from the login screen. – AxolotlEmu May 1 '14 at 0:25
top right corner – sohel4r May 1 '14 at 0:28
If you mean onscreen keyboard from the accessibility drop down menu, that seems to be broken too. It has no keyboard found and it's all question marks. Otherwise, I'm not quite sure what you mean. – AxolotlEmu May 1 '14 at 0:30
In addition, I logged in on a guest account and still can't use the keyboard. Everything else works and it shows that I'm using the English keyboard, but nothing I type is being received. – AxolotlEmu May 1 '14 at 0:32

Had the same problem. Reinstalled xkb-data package using Ubuntu Software Center (by mouse only) and it was fixed.
The package can be found here:

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This does not really answer the question. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question once you have enough reputation. – Volker Siegel May 17 '15 at 13:25

I had the same happen after making some (apparently) bad changes to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/pc and rm /var/lib/xkb/*.xkm.

I ended up being able to recover by logging in as guest, clicking open the wifi menu, clicking Connection Information, getting the IPv4 address, and ssh'ing in from my other computer. Then I undid my bad changes to pc, quit the ssh connection, and restarted the Ubuntu box. The keyboard worked normally when the login screen came back up.

Note that this wouldn't have worked if I had been following decent security practices and not allowed root via ssh, but this was a fairly new install and I hadn't gotten around to that yet.

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Just had this happen. I was editing /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/pc (remapping alt to ctrl) but forgot a semicolon and could not use my keyboard to log in.

I restarted using GRUB to select recovery mode and then root terminal mode. Keyboard worked in the simple root terminal and I was able to edit and fix .../pc. Phew!

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