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I can add a custom xkb keyboard layout in /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols and acrivate it using setxkbmap.

The downside of storing data in this system folder is that it gets lost when xkb-data is reinstalled or updated.

Is there a folder in the home directory where I can permanently store custom keymaps for xkb?

  • Why not just backup the layout. xkb-data is normally only updated when you upgrade to a new Ubuntu release. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Feb 6 '18 at 9:17
  • creatign a layout folder in my user dir and (r)syncing to the /usr dir is my current approach. am just not comfortable with it. I will also not place my binaries for example in /usr/bin. Why mess with the folder structure when there are /usr/local/ and ~/.local for a reason. – ukos Feb 6 '18 at 14:11
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It's is a limitation of XKB which can't be easily worked around. There is a fresh Ubuntu bug report which highlights the issue, but a possible fix should reasonably be done upstream. Can't tell if/when it will happen.

It's worth mentioning that for this very reason we usually don't update xkb-data in stable releases.

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