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I am using a US keyboard layout, but I need German Umlaute as well. Under windows it was easy to map LWIN + ; to produce an ä, LWIN + ' to an ö.

I read about xbindkeys, xmodmap, ... but everywhere I just don't seem to get the combination right.

How would I do that in Linux/Ubuntu? Thank you so much for your help, it is the last thing keeping me from switching full time to Linux.

  • 1
    In current Ubuntu versions using Xorg, xkb (X keyboard extension) is used to configure key maps. It is, however, rather complicated. xbindkeys, while not primarily made for that purpose, is a bit easier to setup and you can't mess up your keyboard configuration with it. I would try xbindkeys first; if the result is not satisfactory, try xkb. – danzel Aug 4 '18 at 8:00
  • Thank you @danzel for helping! I tried askubuntu.com/questions/85850/… but it does not seem to work. Does that maybe have something to do with LWIN trying to open "search"? – Tobias Hertkorn Aug 4 '18 at 21:34
  • I need to switch back to German every once in a while on a US keyboard. My method is rather low-tech. I have both layouts installed and switch using the language drop-down. Most of the keys in the German layout are the same anyway except for Z. If I feel I need to switch back and forth too often because I can't find the key I am looking for I make sure I have one of each umlaut in the text and the esszett and then I switch back to US layout and copy from the existing characters when needed. – hknust Aug 13 '18 at 2:29
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+50

Define a compose key.

How to set a Compose Key in Ubuntu 18.04

Once done, you can do for instance:

Compose followed by " followed by a => ä

Compose followed by " followed by o => ö

  • I also think it's the best option, using a "useless" key like Scroll Lock as a compose key is incredibly powerful, and also makes using foreign keyboards a pleasure! – dgonzalez Aug 11 '18 at 9:21
  • Note only "Right Super" compose key can be setup but OP specifically wants to use "Left Super" as compose key... – WinEunuuchs2Unix Aug 12 '18 at 18:19
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix: Actually XKB understands compose:lwin too, but apparently you can't choose that option from Tweaks. OTOH, using a compose key is not exactly as the OP described the Windows feature anyway, so in any case I think the OP needs to get used to a slightly different method to achieve the goal. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Aug 12 '18 at 19:46
  • @GunnarHjalmarsson I concur. Just pointing out differences. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Aug 12 '18 at 19:48

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