I run Ubuntu 12.04 in VirtualBox 4.3.14 on Windows 7 with a Swedish keyboard layout. In Windows everything works fine but in Ubuntu some keys/characters (the most important for a programmer) doesn't work.

This is the result from pressing the keys in the top row

1234567890+´   (Unmodified top row on keyboard)
 @£$€ {[]}\    (Windows with AltGr)
¡ £$€¥     ±   (Ubuntu with "AltGr")

More characters are broken (pipe | is a notable example) but the top row is the biggest problem. I can workaround this by enabling "direct connection" from my USB keyboard to VirtualBox but then I have to manually disable that every time I switch out of VirtualBox.

I have tried different keyboard layout, sometimes @ et al works but then other characters are broken. I also tried sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration with default values, but it didn't change anything.

I have guest additions installed (from the built in virtual CD). I got my VB disk image from a colleague who does not have this problem, however, he does not have guest additions installed (and hence can't use a higher resolution than 1024x768, and I need to run Eclipse...). He also have different installation of Virtual Box and Windows.

For example, the key for 2 should, in Ubuntu, produce four different characters, 2"²@. The first three works fine, including superscript 2 that requires AltGr-Shift-2, it is just plain AltGr-2 to get @ that does not work on this key (and all the other keys I have problem with).

Any ideas for a fix?


I have the very same problem with a guest xubuntu and host window 7. I reinstall guest additions and I get the Altgr+2 working and lost left-arrow. I lost my patience and I have created another VM. The only difference was the Type of it, this time I have chosen type: "Linux" instead "Other". The keyboard is working as expected.

  • As the person who asked the original question I don't agree with you. If the suggestion works, then it is an answer that I am satisfied with. Unfortunately I can't test it at the moment (and can mark it as an solution) and I don't have the reputation to vote up. However, you should remove your downvote. – d-b Aug 26 '14 at 8:27

I have had the same problem and the solution after a great headache during days has been the following. Nothing can be more easy: In the option: file->preferences->input the following check box must be disabled: keyboard autocapture

I am translating from spanish version, but there must be something similar in the english version. Greetings.

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