My keyboard layout in Ubuntu doesn't fully correspond to my actual keyboard. This could be either because I chose the wrong option during the installation, or because my misguided attempts to fix the keyboard layout switcher that Ubuntu broke in 13.10, compared to 13.04.

Here's what I see in Ubuntu keyboard layout chart:

enter image description here

On my keyboard there are Backspace instead of ], ) above 0 and [ instead of :. It says "English (US)", but doesn't look like one. Also, the keyboard in the chart has an L-shaped Enter key, so can't be "English (US)", but probably some European type. How do I change my keyboard layout to a proper one? Command line is ok.

I am using English (US) and Russian layouts, between which I am switching with Ctrl+Shift. I managed to fix that bit, so that both Ctrl+Shift and the shortcuts that contain it (like Ctrl+Shift+Tab to switch browser tabs backwards,) do work.

I am using Ubuntu 13.10 32-bit.

  • I just upgraded from 13.04 to 13.10 and am having the exact same issue. I also did not try to change with the layout switcher. I just ran the upgrade and then my layout is now identical to the one you have above.
    – sruffell
    Jan 29, 2014 at 18:29
  • For posterity, while I am still unsure how the update resulted in this change, I eventually was able to fix it by using gnome-tweak-tool, selecting Typing -> "Japanese keyboard options" and setting it to disabled.
    – sruffell
    Jan 30, 2014 at 23:27

2 Answers 2


The screenshot you've shown has numerous mistakes that don't match an actual layout, including an extra Escape key, misplaced Backspace, etc. Either you have loaded a custom layout unknowingly, or something is very wrong with your default English (US) layout. I recommend filing a bug report with Ubuntu, because what you are seeing should not be possible without very explicit (and misguided) customization.

PS: The L-shaped enter key is not important. Keyboard layouts only care very slightly about the shape and width of specific keys.

  • Ok, so it were really my misguided attempts to fix the keyboard layout switcher that are to blame. Thanks for helping to figure this out! I have reinstalled Ubuntu, applied just this one solution, and everything works without such weird bugs. Dec 27, 2013 at 13:43
  • It works faithfully to its description, though: it does "provide some relief", namely I am now again allowed to use "Ctl+Shift" for switching layout together with shortcuts that contain it, like "Ctrl+Shift+Tab" for switching tabs backwards in the browser or "Ctrl+Shift+Back" for selecting words backwards in the editor, but now it comes at a cost of keyboard glitches and freezes. Why, oh why did Ubuntu have to break keyboard? I wonder if I can comprehensively fix it. Do you think it merits asking a separate question? Should I edit/add comments to my original one? Dec 27, 2013 at 13:48
  • Your answer helped, but I don't know if one can count this as a solution. Dec 27, 2013 at 13:50

This is posted in a comment above, but given that I had the very same layout issue:

It was fixed by installing gnome-tweak-tool and disabling the "Japanese keyboard options" under typing.


$ setxkbmap -print
xkb_keymap {
xkb_keycodes { include "evdev+aliases(qwerty)" };
xkb_types { include "complete" };
xkb_compat { include "complete" };
xkb_symbols { include "pc+us+inet(evdev)+jp(nicola_f_bs)" };
xkb_geometry { include "pc(pc105)" };

I could see that there were some japanese options set, but I couldn't find what file to disable them in. I eventually ran across this answer: https://askubuntu.com/a/386469/18518, which prompted me to check what options were available in the tweak tool.

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