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I'm currently setting up a couple of computers with Ubuntu MATE 16.04. The default installation sets the Keyboard Layout to 'English', however, I need a 'German' keyboard layout. I figured out how to remove all Layouts and add 'German' as default keyboard layout in the GUI.

System -> Preferences -> Hardware -> Keyboard -> Layouts

However, I have to setup around 20 computers and it would be neat if I could script those settings. So my questions is where are the keyboard settings stored such that I could copy it from one computer to all the others.

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1. MATE Desktop Environment session

1.1. Using gsettings

You need the following GSettings keys. Below is my example with two layouts (us and ru) using Ctrl+Shift as layout switcher and ScrollLock LED as indicator of the second layout:

gsettings set org.mate.peripherals-keyboard-xkb.kbd layouts "['us', 'ru']"
gsettings set org.mate.peripherals-keyboard-xkb.kbd model "''"
gsettings set org.mate.peripherals-keyboard-xkb.kbd options \
"['grp_led\tgrp_led:scroll', 'grp\tgrp:ctrl_shift_toggle']"

Edit it for your case.

1.2. Using dconf

Alternative method is to use dconf command:

cat <<EOF | dconf load /org/mate/desktop/peripherals/keyboard/
[kbd]
layouts=['us', 'ru']
model=''
options=['grp_led\tgrp_led:scroll', 'grp\tgrp:ctrl_shift_toggle']
EOF

Edit it for your case.

2. Terminal session and some GUI cases

Do not forget to run sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration to reconfigure keyboard layouts for terminal and some GUI sessions.
It will save its settings in /etc/default/keyboard.
You can configure it once, then copy this file to other machines. After changing this file you should update initramfs images with sudo update-initramfs -k all -u.


Also note, that MATE Keyboard Preferences may be opened with mate-keyboard-properties.

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