Ok, I've used Ubuntu with GNOME for a while, but now I'm using XUbuntu. In Ubuntu, there used to be a keyboard preference which makes the numpad more sane, it was called something like "Make Shift+NumPad work like Windows".

The problem this options solves is, that when you press NumPad 7, it acts like the "Home" key, which is all fine, but if you press Shift+NumPad 7, it acts like the "7" key, which is not fine because I'm on a laptop and the regular "Home" key requires me to pull of an anatomically insane move. Anyways, this option made Shift+NumPad 7 act like the "Home" key.

I can't find that option under XUbuntu. How do I set it?

Update: GUI or command line, doesn't matter.

10 Answers 10


After some grepping I found the solution: You need to add the numpad:microsoft option to the XkbOptions. On older Ubuntus, do that in your xorg.conf. On newer ones open the file /etc/default/keyboard and change this line:




Save and reboot (restarting X doesn't seem to work, at least not with RAlt+PrintScreen+K). You may need to run sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration for changes to take effect.

  • Can you adapt this answer for a non-root user?
    – einpoklum
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 16:25
  • 1
    Just used this successfully on Ubuntu 15.10. Thanks! Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 17:27
  • @einpoklum - you need root. Commented Mar 5, 2016 at 17:27
  • 3
    No need to reboot (on 16.04). Just need to run sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration.
    – estibordo
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 15:56
  • 1
    Works like a charm on Ubuntu 20.04 without rebooting and without restarting any applications. I specifically use shift+7 for home and shift+1 for end. Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 10:48

Ubuntu 14.04 have no more "Miscellaneous compatibility options" in the keyboard settings. Editing /etc/default/keyboard also is not a working solution. But dconf database contains the required options with key /org/gnome/desktop/input-sources/xkb-options. This options should be completed with numpad:microsoft to something like ['grp:alt_shift_toggle', 'grp_led:scroll', 'numpad:microsoft'] manually in dconf-editor or using this script:

# !/bin/bash
old=`gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.input-sources xkb-options`
new=`echo $old | sed "s/'numpad:microsoft'//g" | sed -r "s/(, )+/, /g" | sed -r "s/(, )?]/, 'numpad:microsoft']/"`
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.input-sources xkb-options "$new"
  • 4
    awesome!! what on earth was someone smoking to remove this... Or, if this feature is some "evil windows thing", how are you supposed to do shift-end on the laptop, when the regular key is in a hard to reach place? Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 15:04
  • 2
    Great answer ! Btw instead of using the command line you can also install the dconf-editor in Ubuntu >= 12.04 Check this answer for more details askubuntu.com/questions/22313/…
    – Storm
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 8:04
  • 1
    Works like a charm in 16.10. dconf-editor helped too, thanks @Storm! Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 17:50
  • On Elementary OS Loki, this is the only option that seems to work. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 7:07

In Xubuntu 16.04 the XKBOPTIONS setting ( XKBOPTIONS="numpad:microsoft" ) in /etc/default/keyboard is ignored - I consider this to be a bug.

I'm using the following command as workaround:
setxkbmap -option 'numpad:microsoft'

In order to run the above command automatically when starting the graphical desktop environment, I've create an Application Autostart entry:
Menu > Settings > Session and Startup > Application Autostart > Add

          Name: Make Shift+NumPad work like MS Windows
Description: whatsoever
   Command:setxkbmap -option 'numpad:microsoft'

  • 1
    Works great, and without restart, thanks! But what do you mean by "Menu > Settings"? From where? I don't think you mean system settings. Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 18:51
  • 1
    Hi David. I have created 5 screenshots: (1/5) imgur.com/a/h00IQ | (2/5) imgur.com/a/xUcJS | (3/5) imgur.com/a/n9Pq3 | (4/5) imgur.com/a/0m8Df | (5/5) imgur.com/a/rMVdj - hope this helps ;-) .
    – F.M.
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 23:41
  • This works on XUbuntu 18.04. No restart needed
    – abjbhat
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 14:50
  • Confirmed it works in 19 as well. The auto start is not here though. Just add a .sh to /etc/init.d
    – Emad
    Commented Jul 20, 2019 at 17:49
  • 1
    Works for Ubuntu Budgie 20.04! :+1:
    – nZeus
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 21:47

Glad I found your post. Using Natty Narwhal, I found a similar option in the Keyboard settings.

  1. Search for Keyboard
  2. Click Layouts tab
  3. Click Options button
  4. Expand miscellaneous compatibility options
  5. Check "Shift with numeric keypad keys works as in MS Windows"
  6. Close and you're good!
  • Thank you! This is the only solution that worked for me - editing /etc/default/keyboard didn't work.
    – jocull
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 22:02
  • 5
    That option has been removed in 13.10. It can still be selected by installing gnome-tweak-tool: sudo apt-get install gnome-link-tool. Then you'll find it under "Typing" in the "Miscellaneous compatibility options" list.
    – f.cipriani
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 22:02
  • 3
    @f.cipriani I don't know if that was a typo in your comment or if the tool has been renamed, but the current correct name is gnome-tweak-tool.
    – waldyrious
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 10:12
  • 2
    Thanks @waldir, that was a typo, it is actually gnome-tweak-tool
    – f.cipriani
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 13:30
  • 2
    In Linux Mint 18 (Cinnamon), it appears the desired option under "Miscellaneous compatibility options" is "Numlock on: digits, Shift switches to arrow keys, Numlock off: always arrow keys (as in MS Windows)".
    – theDrake
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 21:55

For uBuntu 18.04, another options is to use Dconf-Editor, a powerful GUI for most uBuntu settings. If not installed, open Terminal and type:

  • apt-get update
  • apt-get install dconf-editor -y

Open dconf Editor, then /org/gnome/desktop/input-sources/xkb-options.

On a fresh uBuntu installation, Custom value will be blank. Turn Use default value OFF then:

  • insert ['numpad:microsoft'] (if blank) or
  • append , 'numpad:microsoft' (after whatever is there, if not blank)

For example, ['caps:none', 'numpad:microsoft'] which both disables Caps Lock and uses the NumPad as in Windows. Close dconf Editor, no reboot required.


I had a similar problem on lubuntu. I tried changing the /etc/default/keyboard file, but it didn't help.

I think the reason might be that I had Layout changer on my system. However, adding numpad:microsoft in the "Advanced setxkbmap Options" field in the options of the Keyboard Layout Handler actually worked. I didn't even have to reboot the X.

  • It means run this command: setxkbmap -option "grp:alt_shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll,numpad:microsoft"
    – Vahid
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 21:14

On Ubuntu 19.10, you can get this functionality by installing gnome-tweak-tool, then opening it, going to Keyboard & Mouse -> Additional Layout Options then expanding Miscellaneous compatibility options and checking Num Lock on: digits; Shift for arrow keys, Num Lock off: arrow keys (as in Windows), as shown here:

Gnome Tweak Tool Config

The changes take effect immediately. It seems to change the same setting as the answer by @AlainD


Kubuntu 20.04 also has Miscellaneous compatibility options menu! So, you can fix numlock and shift+home / shift+end issue.

enter image description here


Running Ubuntu 20.04 in Virtual Box on a Windows host, I needed to turn on these options in Tweaks to get shift- and control-shift- keys to work in Windows style.

  • Tweaks > Keyboard & Mouse > Additional Layout Options > Miscellaneous compatibility options > Shift does not cancel Num Lock, chooses 3rd level instead
  • Tweaks > Keyboard & Mouse > Additional Layout Options > Layout of Numeric Keypad > Wang 724 keypad with unicode additions (arrows and math operators; math operators on default level)

For example, in a text editor with NumLock on, this allows ctrl-shift-numpad4 to move left to the start of a word while selecting the word.


For me 'keypad:pointerkeys' option helped on Lubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

  • I frequent many sites in stackexchange.com and I think I have noticed a disturbing pattern: the sites with the highest percentage of unhelpful answers seem to be the linux sites.
    – Mike Nakis
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 11:56

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