Recently, I attached an aluminium USB Apple keyboard to my Thinkpad running Ubuntu 20.04, setting Compose to Caps using dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration.

Now I cannot get my old Left Win / Super keys behaviour back.

I'm manually setting the keyboard layout using setxkbmap -option "" -variant "" -layout "de" -model "pc105" multiple times a day (probably every time the laptop suspended) and I'm out of ideas where else the system could get the undesired setting.

This is the config

/etc/default/keyboard (that's what I want!):


setxkbmap -query: completely puzzled about this. Keyboard behaves like a pc105 alright, not sure where the variant: ,mac,, comes from and most importantly: lwin shouldn't be Compose.

rules:      evdev
model:      pc105
layout:     de,de,gb,gb
variant:    ,mac,,
options:    compose:lwin,terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp

The Ubuntu keyboard layout view agrees with the settings returned by setxkbmap -query: Keyboard layout showing lwin as Compose

Gnome Tweaks says the Compose key is Disabled:

Gnome Tweak screenshot

I do not have an /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

Pointers on where to look for persisted settings much appreciated. Thanks!

  • 1
    Perhaps something set in Gnome: what does gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.input-sources xkb-options say? You cannot "reset" running dpkg-reconfigure again (you didn´t mention any attempt in that direction).
    – vanadium
    Aug 23, 2021 at 7:15
  • @vanadium gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.input-sources xkb-options returns "['compose:lwin', 'terminate:ctrl_alt_bksp']", in line with what the Gnome keyboard layout widget shows. I am able to (temporarily) change my keyboard layout back using dpkg-reconfigure, but that a) takes a long time and b) doesn't last.
    – carp
    Aug 24, 2021 at 6:57

1 Answer 1


After having been pointed to gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.input-source xkb-options in Compose key keeps coming back. How to disable it permanently?, I was able to gsettings set:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.input-sources xkb-options "[]"

So far, the settings stick and I am able to reliably use the Gnome keyboard layout switcher to change between keyboard layouts.

keyboard switcher tray

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