I may be an alien around here, but here's my problem: the speed limit on old Ubuntu releases (= before 11) was very very fast. It was really great for me.

Now, on Ubuntu 11, they may have thought: "who will ever want that speed? Nobody! So let's put the maximum speed to a lower limit".

It's so stupid that they tried to narrow down the speed to some other famous OS. If Linux is more powerful, why remove some of its power? I don't get that.

So is there any way to override that speed limit and get my keyboard as fast as it is on other previous versions?

  • You mean the repeat rate, when you hold down a key?
    – psusi
    May 21, 2012 at 15:59
  • @mateo_salta kbdrate doesn't work at all = has no effect on my keyboard: sudo kbdrate -r 30.0 -d 1440 and sudo kbdrate -r 2.0 -d 10 have same effect = nothing. May 22, 2012 at 6:56
  • @psusi You're right I've changed the title May 22, 2012 at 6:57
  • There are two Ubuntu releases whose numbers start with 11--11.04 and 11.10. You may want to edit your question to clarify which one you are running. May 23, 2012 at 20:56
  • Both releases: 11.04 and 11.10 May 24, 2012 at 15:38

5 Answers 5


In Ubuntu 15.10 and later the settings have moved.

To get approximately 90 cps repeat rate and 150 ms delay:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.keyboard delay 150
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.keyboard repeat-interval 11

At these high repeat rates I would recommend to stay as close to a multiple of your screen refresh rate as possible. This will help you stop at the wanted location as the movement is easier to follow.

If we take the default example of a 60 Hz display this works out to one of these repeat intervals:

30  cps = 1000/30  ≈ 33 ms (30.3  cps)
60  cps = 1000/60  ≈ 16 ms (62.5  cps)
90  cps = 1000/90  ≈ 11 ms (90.9  cps)
120 cps = 1000/120 ≈ 8  ms (125.0 cps)
  • 1
    thanks, this works for me. I cannot use the above ones include org.gnome.settings-daemon ones. Nov 28, 2016 at 17:37
  • 3
    This works on 16.04 Mar 13, 2017 at 21:35
  • vote up this answer this is the right one for 16.06 LTS
    – Louis
    Jun 14, 2017 at 7:38
  • Strangely neither the setting in the preferences panel nor this one had any effect. Only xset worked for me. Could there be any reason for that?
    – xji
    Nov 28, 2017 at 13:10
  • Works in Ubuntu 18.04. I find 200/20 best combination for delay/repeat rate. Apr 29, 2018 at 17:46

Given that this issue hasn't been fixed yet, and can be very frustrating, I here's a workaround:

Initially I used xset r rate, but the problem with it is that it's not persistent after sleep/awake, and sometimes the desktop reverts to limited rate at random times (probably gnome settings daemon does something which causes reinforcing the settings).

I was uselessly changing my old gconf keyboard settings, only to discover that the setting has been migrated to gsettings. The value limit is hardcoded in the system settings application (gnome-control-center in file ./panels/keyboard/gnome-keyboard-panel.ui:877).

You can easily override it:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.keyboard repeat-interval 15
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.keyboard delay 150

As long as you don't change your settings from the gui, this setting should be persistent.

  • This is a really good answer, and as soon as I can test it I'll verify if it works, and if so I'll check your answer as good. But I've reverted back to Ubuntu 10.04 which is far more stable, better, faster and friendlier than all other versions (from my point of view) Oct 22, 2012 at 8:17
  • this worked great for me Nov 12, 2013 at 21:55
  • 1
    Ok your answer works but depends of the distributions. For me it was: gsettings set org.cinnamon.settings-daemon.peripherals.keyboard repeat-interval 20 and gsettings set org.cinnamon.settings-daemon.peripherals.keyboard delay 150 Dec 4, 2014 at 15:10
  • 4
    No such key in Ubuntu 16.04 anymore. Anyone know how to do it in the new Ubuntu version?? Nov 28, 2016 at 17:26
  • 3
    current solution is in answer below from Erik Olofsson ... gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.keyboard repeat-interval 17 Mar 13, 2017 at 21:34

You can temporarily override Ubuntu's max keyboard rate using the xset command if you're using GNOME 3 on Ubuntu > 10.04. Example:

xset r rate 220 160

You can also try adding (uncomenting) the following in /etc/kbd/config:



Edit: corrected an inconsistency in the examples.

  • Hi, have you any idea on how to put set it at start so that it's set for every applications I may launch? Thank you Jan 27, 2014 at 12:16
  • uncomment the following in /etc/kbd/config: KEYBOARD_RATE="220" KEYBOARD_DELAY="160"
    – jarederaj
    Mar 8, 2014 at 17:03
  • Also see: linuxcommand.org/man_pages/kbdrate8.html
    – jarederaj
    Mar 8, 2014 at 17:13
  • 1
    Isn't it 'r rate [delay [rate]]' meaning that in your example KEYBOARD_DELAY="220" KEYBOARDD_RATE="160"? Apr 10, 2014 at 22:17
  • 5
    There's no file /etc/kbd/config and I don't think it's working when I create one. Ubuntu 16.10 Feb 3, 2017 at 17:04

Go to System-> Preferences-> Keyboard, and adjust the Repeat Keys Speed slider to the far right. On later systems you access this control using the Unity Launcher's System Settings--the button with the wrench. The control panel is the same.

  • 1
    I presume that's the dialog box he's already referring to. May 22, 2012 at 23:13
  • @neon_overload, who is referring to what box where? There is no mention of a box in the question.
    – psusi
    May 22, 2012 at 23:14
  • 2
    He says that the maximum speed Ubuntu is allowing him to set is too low. Unless I see otherwise I presume he's talking about the regular keyboard settings dialog in Ubuntu. May 22, 2012 at 23:15
  • @neon_overload, he doesn't mention setting anything anywhere, just that the speed is lower.
    – psusi
    May 22, 2012 at 23:16
  • The control panel is the same, but the keyboard repeat rate is lower. May 24, 2012 at 15:37

I don't think that the UI for this is especially intuitive but, I find it hard to believe that the available settings are not adequate for your needs.

On v3.26.2 at least, the closer you drag the bar to the left the faster the repeat is. This is equivalent to the following:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.peripherals.keyboard repeat-interval 0

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .