In Ubuntu 16.04, there was an option in the settings which allowed to switch between Esc and Caps Lock. Where is this option in Ubuntu 18.04?

3 Answers 3


Found an option by installing Gnome Tweaks.

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Then open Tweaks, and click:

Keyboard & Mouse -> Additional Layout Options -> Caps Lock key behavior.

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(On older versions of Ubuntu, you would need to install gnome-tweak-tool instead.)

  • 2
    If you're using VsCode, and it's not working, take a look at this solution:github.com/Microsoft/vscode/issues/23991#issuecomment-292336504
    – Valentin V
    Aug 31, 2018 at 21:00
  • You can also use this tool to just disable caps lock altogether.
    – Flimm
    May 28, 2019 at 16:22
  • To find the 'Gnome Tweaks' app for launching, look for 'Tweaks', not 'Gnome'. Feb 25, 2020 at 23:59
  • doesnt seem to work reliably on my ubuntu 20.04. option is disabled for ages.... and caps lock still on!
    – U.V.
    Nov 30, 2020 at 11:38

In Ubuntu MATE 18.04, launch Keyboard and go to Layouts > Options > Caps Lock behaviour to customise Caps Lock (as an additional escape key, disable entirely, and other options).

setxkbmap -option ctrl:nocaps

disables the key reliably on the Xserver. This seems to be more reliable than the gnome tweak and I added it to my .bashrc to be sure.

I hope I never meet the guy (for his safety) who came up with this most annoying key ever...... So many hours of my live wasted to get rid on the 1000s of systems I setup since the 90s! Who is actually using it? Anybody?

And its on by default WHY? (this is a message to the distro guys to change it)

  • This worked for me. Quick, easy, nothing installed. I agree that this key is useless. On the rare occasion I need to go all-caps, my pinky can man the Shift-key.
    – Jack
    Mar 14, 2021 at 15:50
  • Yes. But does this line changes CAPS LOCK into the ESC key?? There's nowhere written ESC, that's why I ask. Aug 5, 2023 at 11:51

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