Since upgrading to LTS 20.04 I noticed that the keyboard does not work in the desktop. Except for on the desktop, the keyboard is working perfectly.

For example, I cannot open a file by clicking it (with the mouse) and hitting Enter. I'm using a Dell XPS 15.

  • Can you type using the keyboard? Also please edit your question to include what computer you are using
    – ldias
    May 4, 2020 at 13:52
  • Done. Apart from the desktop, the keyboard is working perfectly. May 4, 2020 at 14:19
  • Note that now, a new Gnome Shell extension provides desktop items. There are limitations in keyboard support, but I can still select an item by clicking and then launch it with <kbd>Enter</kbd>. Arrow keys, however, to move the highlight, do not work.
    – vanadium
    May 4, 2020 at 15:10
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Cannot use del key to delete files on desktop in 20.04. This appears to be a bug.
    – Nmath
    May 22, 2020 at 22:19
  • Could you test with other distro you have? For example, if it were mine, I would test the keyboard by running LiveUSB of Fedora, Manjaro, etc. This will confirm whether the error is on the hardware side or just on Ubuntu side. Jan 22, 2022 at 11:09

2 Answers 2


I had just the same problem with keyboard and mouse not working I can changed the grub file

  1. Open terminal by pressing E while booting Ubuntu

  2. Change the below command in grub file.

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="acpi=noirq text nomodeset"

In case only mouse is working you can login to Ubuntu using Accessibility icon and switch on the screen keyboard.


My current workaround is to hold shift on boot, select something like 'advanced options' from the menu using my arrow keys (which work at this point), and then select an older kernel. Sub optimal but it works for now.

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