Based on this answer I have verified that I have the "US, international with dead keys" keyboard layout available:

$ cat /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.lst | grep US,\ international\ with\ 
  intl            us: English (US, international with dead keys)

Then, based on this answer, I try to change the keyboard layout from the command line. But setxkbmap -v intl fails:

$ setxkbmap -v intl
Warning! Multiple definitions of keyboard layout
         Using command line, ignoring X server
Trying to build keymap using the following components:
keycodes:   evdev+aliases(qwerty)
types:      complete
compat:     complete
symbols:    pc+intl+inet(evdev)
geometry:   pc(pc105)
Error loading new keyboard description

System is:

$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS
Release:    16.04
Codename:   xenial

What am I doing wrong? I am on a desktop system, using i3wm.


Ok, so apparently the following succeeds:

$ setxkbmap -model pc105 -layout us -variant intl
$ echo $?
  • What kind of system do you have? Desktop, server? If the former, which desktop environment? Nov 1, 2019 at 16:21
  • @GunnarHjalmarsson desktop, i3wm Nov 1, 2019 at 16:27
  • See that you figured it out. Great! Please feel free to submit the solution as an answer. Nov 1, 2019 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


This is a variant on the US layout keyboard, so the following succeeds:

$ setxkbmap -model pc105 -layout us -variant intl
$ echo $?

In fact, the -model pc105 part wasn't even necessary in my case.

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