I just put my drive with my existing Ubuntu 17.10 installation from my old into my new laptop which has a different keyboard layout and I noticed that the functionality to switch keyboards is missing. There is no icon in the menu bar and pressing super + space also does nothing. It works fine at the desktop and at the lockscreen, just not in GDM… it's working on Fedora though and I did nothing fancy there either.

I compared Fedora GDM config in /etc with Ubuntu, no luck.

Please tell me what's required to get it working.

I prefer to use Wayland, if your answer suggests configuring something related to X11 please explain why.


Here is what I see in Region & Language, there is no Login Screen button as far as I can see.

enter image description here

Edit 2:

As requested by Gunnar Hjalmarsson:

$ cat /etc/default/keyboard 

2 Answers 2


Go to Settings -> Region & Language. In the upper right corner of the window you should see a Login Screen button. If you click that button, the UI switches to a variant for system wide settings. From there you can add the input sources you want to be able to use on the login screen. If you have more than one source selected, an input source indicator will be shown on the login screen after next reboot.

enter image description here

The button may only be visible if more than one user is registered on the system. As a workaround you can create a new user and delete it after you made the changes you desired.

  • I don't seem to have that button in 17.10, I also checked on my 17.10 VM for testing and added a screenshot to my question.
    – LiveWireBT
    Mar 12, 2018 at 19:28
  • 1
    @LiveWireBT: It just struck me that that button is only present if more than one user account has been created. OTOH, for one-user systems, the sources for that user ought to be available on the login screen as well. Can you please edit your question again and show us the contents of /etc/default/keyboard, i.e. run the terminal command cat /etc/default/keyboard Mar 12, 2018 at 19:45
  • I just created another user and the button appeared to enter the other menu. I added the content as requested. Edit: that solved it. I just removed the other user after adding the layouts, logged out of the session and was able to switch keyboard layouts.
    – LiveWireBT
    Mar 13, 2018 at 0:34
  • 1
    @LiveWireBT: Ok, good that you fixed it. I suppose that the contents of /etc/default/keyboard you now show in your question is from after the steps you took. Mar 13, 2018 at 11:50

In my Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 I just run on terminal:

sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard

and then change the unwanted layout at xxx in the line:


save and then reboot.

P.S.: just copy the layout "yyy" from the first line to the XKBVARIANT line


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