Since Ubuntu 18.04 (my previous version was 16.04) I have noticed quirks in my earlier working nicely custom XKB configuration.

I set my configuration by running

xkbcomp -I$HOME/.config/xkb/ $HOME/.config/xkb/map.xkb :0

map.xkb file contains

xkb_keymap {
    xkb_keycodes  { include "evdev+aliases(qwerty)" };
    xkb_types     { include "complete"  };
    xkb_compat    { include "complete+ledscroll(group_lock)"    };
    xkb_symbols   { include "pc+my(intl)+inet(evdev)+group(shifts_toggle)"  };
    xkb_geometry  { include "pc(pc104)" };

But the option group(shifts_toggle) is completely ignored (system default super+Space works though).

Also running xkbcomp $DISPLAY output.xkb gives (providing only a small excerpt):

xkb_symbols "pc+my(intl)+inet(evdev)+group(shifts_toggle)" {

    name[group1]="English (US)";
    name[group2]="Russian (my custom layout)";
    name[group3]="English (US)";

    key  <ESC> {         [          Escape ] };

It shows three groups though my symbols definition has only two (English+Russian). It looks like system makes additional modifications. Can I switch those off?

Any help really appreciated since XKB is rather important yet always poorly documented topic.

  • Here is the output of setxkbmap -v 10 – Pommy Nov 11 '19 at 2:29

I presume you’re using GNOME 3; if so, it is not currently possible, see this upstream bug.

In case it is Unity, this may help:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.keyboard active false
  • I am using GNOME. I am not 100% sure that the bug you mention is the issue I am reporting here, though it might be. Also want to note that custom layout do work, I just notice weird system interference with layout switching in particular. – Pommy Apr 9 '20 at 14:59
  • This has been my observation as well. I have a custom switcher on Super (Super = first layout, Shift-Super = previous layout), and it doesn’t work in GNOME at all. (I reported the bug.) – andrewsh Apr 12 '20 at 14:55
  • In the meantime I am using xbindkeys to set required layout anew on every layout switching combination key stroke. Gnome on Arch Linux doesn't seem to interfere with it )) – Pommy Apr 13 '20 at 1:52

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