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I'd like to remove a keyboard icon, so replacing "[###] USA" as keyboard layout indicator to just "En", an English or American flag, or "USA" at least. How can I achieve this?

UPDATE: When I've clicked to remove e-mail icon from the bar, keyboard language indication has disappeared also, and now I only see that useless keyboard icon, and don't see what language is selected now :-(

I use Ubuntu 10.10.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

In addition to monotasker's solution, here's exact steps how to easily get flags instead of keyboard icon + abbreviation:

  1. in gconf-editor, check /desktop/gnome/peripherals/keyboard/indicator/showFlags
  2. install set of flags using sudo apt-get install famfamfam-flag-png
  3. make a softlink: ln -s /usr/share/flags/countries/16x11 ~/.icons/flags

In the next login, you should see flags in indicator applet.

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I am experiencing the same problem, but the given answer is not exactly the answer of the question. Yes, the solution works for the INDICATOR applet, but what we would like to have is a solution for the NOTIFICATION area. For some reason now the keyboard indicator there can't find the icons, other than the default crappy keyboard picture. In addition I use the connected application 'Typing Monitor', which also doesn't show icon in the NOTIFICATION bar. I am not sure if they are going to fix it officially… – user11408 Feb 24 '11 at 14:02

The solution here is to turn on the "show flags" option and install some flag image files.

I've posted a pack of SVG language flags (along with instructions for installing and enabling them) here (for dark panels) and here (for light panels).

The light-panel version looks best with Faenza or Elementary iconsets, but is also not bad with ubuntu-mono-light. The dark panel version is really best suited for Faenza. If there's enough interest, I can create another set to match ubuntu-mono-dark. The pages include instructions for installing the sets.

And if I've missed your language, let me know the code and I'll add it to the set.

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To completely remove the keyboard indicator we need to change one byte in the /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon-2.0/ file.

  1. Make a backup of file.
  2. Open the file with root privileges through any hex editor (I use Bless).
  3. Search for the byte signature FF 83 F8 01 0F

    FF 83 F8 01 0F = if (g_slist_length (current_kbd_config.layouts_variants) > 1)

  4. Change 01 to 02

    FF 83 F8 02 0F

  5. Save the file. (this should be the new contents of the file)

    FF 83 F8 02 0F = if (g_slist_length (current_kbd_config.layouts_variants) > 2)

If you have less than 3 keyboard layouts, icon will be not shown. After this, you need to reload gnome-settings-daemon, you can use reboot for this.

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worked perfectly for me. Even though i have version 3 (gnome-settings-daemon-3.0/ and the sequence is found twice. I changed both of them – disjunction Oct 14 '13 at 14:44

I think icon will be removed from indicator in release. So just wait 2 weeks. See for further information. And note "Fix commited" status of that bug.

EDIT: Try /apps/gnome_settings_daemon/plugins/keyboard/active=false for now. Also, install xneur (auto-layout switcher for X).

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This is a tutorial on how to change the keyboard layout indicator so it displays country flags:

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While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Thank you. – Peachy Aug 26 '12 at 15:39

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