I've tried going to Region and Language and adding a layout, even making it the default layout, but for some reason I'm stuck with my original layout and I can't seem to change it. In GNOME 2 and in Unity, there's a panel applet that allows you to quickly change between keyboard layouts, but there doesn't seem to be one in Gnome Shell. Does anyone know a way to get that applet in the panel (loading it manually?) or at the very least change the keyboard layout via the terminal?

7 Answers 7


In Gnome Shell 3.18.5, there is no way to change the keyboard layout through the settings panel at all that I could find. Instead, the settings are located in the Gnome Tweak Tool under "Typing".

If you don't have it, you can install Gnome Tweak Tool with

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

and access it from the Activities menu.

  • 4
    Where did you find Typing? I have no such item
    – Suncatcher
    Aug 19, 2018 at 8:16

You'll find the keyboard layout settings in the region and languages setting panel. Go to the user menu, choose System Settings, then Region and Language, then switch to the Layouts tab.

The layout chooser and keyboard shortcuts (under options) should be pretty familier from the Gnome 2 days. Once there is more than one layout you should get a little switcher applet too.

  • Access Region and Language, Layous, ang then just add the desired layout to "Input Sources: ...".
    – Rubens
    Sep 27, 2014 at 2:35
  • 4
    There's no "Layouts" tab, or no tabs at all for that matter, in my Region and Language window.
    – trusktr
    Jun 17, 2017 at 4:57

This worked for me... got to:

System Settings --> Keyboard layout, tab Layouts --> Options... Key(s) to change layout

Pick any one you like, even multi options work for me...


In the new Gnome3 Shell I needed to use the gnome-tweak-tool*. There I went to Typing -> Switching to another layout and selected my keystroke ("Alt+Shift"). Afterwards I needed to delete the keystroke in the Region and Language setting (Activities Menu -> Type Region -> Select Region and Language -> Input Sources -> Shortcut Settings). After restarting gnome, it worked as expected.

*the old keystroke from the Region and Languages menu worked kind of, but no longer cycled through the list. Obviously there was some form of "direction" introduced and my keystroke was assigned to "Switch to next source". This means in a list of languages, in my case "en", "de", "ru", you are at the end of the list (for me "ru"), you need to press the keystroke twice (not only once) to jump from the last element to the first (im my case from "ru" to "de"). I of course could have assigned another keystroke to go back in the list (I did not like that) or press the key twice (though it was again another behaviour based on the language, this I wanted to avoid). As I often switch mid-document back and force, this was in indeed a big deal for me. I hope it is clear what the problem was.


From https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-help/stable/keyboard-layouts.html.en:

  1. Open the Activities overview and start typing Region & Language.
  2. Click on Region & Language to open the panel.
  3. Click the + button in the Input Sources section, select the language which is associated with the layout, then select a layout and press Add.

Here is some more updated information: as of Nov. '14. I input Japanese and English regularly and got stuck on this after an upgrade -using ubuntu gnome 14.04

I type Japanese and English, so here is how I did it.

In the Region/Language settings, you choose your input method, which implies the keyboard type. So for Japanese, there is a simple "Japanese" setting, which has nothing to do with typing "Japanese", instead it is the "Japanese keyboard layout". In order to type "Japanese", you have to install the ibus-anthy" or "mozc" packages. After reboot, click the little "+" button and scroll down to japanese, notice the added japanese options for "Japanese-Anthy" and "Japanese-Mozc". Add these, then you will get SDK input ability as well as simple typing with correct layout.


Super + Space

(The Super key is another name for the Windows key.)

Since Gnome 3.8 it is the default keyboard shortcut for switching between keyboard layouts, see https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.8/shortcuts.html

You must log in to answer this question.

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